Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fair-Aired Boy?

As the Wall Street Journal reports in "Obama to Tap Tech Adviser as FCC Chief," the next president has chosen Julius Genachowski to lead the troubled Federal Communication Commision in the new administration. Because he's been a proponent of Network Neutrality, unlike the outgoing FCC head, many digital rights activists have been encouraged by the Genachowski appointment, and his stand on media ownership rules has heartened local and independent media.

Personally, I'm very worried that Genachowski's ties to the entertainment industry might make him an unlikely advocate for consumers. He's also been a board member of Common Sense Media, which is certainly not the worst of the parent panic sites about videogame play, file-sharing, and social network sites, but it certainly isn't the best either.

I wish that I could say that I didn't think any of Christopher Soghoian's predictions for 2009 would come true, but I fear that a climate of inaction on important issues like privacy law, price gouging on services like text messages, or the need for a revision of the DMCA may be almost as bad as the climate of reaction we leave behind.

(For more 2009 predictions, you can check out this Twitter feed.)

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