In today's Vice.com Lee Fang has an article that explains clearly what is going on at the FCC and it has the clear marks of corruption. The FCC current staff appear to be attorneys who worked for communications corporations like Comcast CTIA, TDS. Fang's article is entitled Former Comcast and Verizon Attorneys Now Manage the FCC and Are About To Kill the Internet
More below the elegant Cheese Doodle.
Fang names names. The list is like a Monty Python sendup of corruption but it is not funny and what I don't ken is how comes it that this is all legal and how come no-one has previously reported this. But here we go anyway.
Like so many problems in American government, the policy shift may relate to the pernicious corruption of the revolving door. The FCC is stocked with staffers who have recently worked for Internet Service Providers (ISP) that stand to benefit tremendously from the defeat of net neutrality.I recommend Fang's article, and maybe somebody here has the chops to amplify this story to where corruption can be checked. .
The backgrounds of the new FCC staff have not been reported until now.
Take Daniel Alvarez, an attorney who has long represented Comcast through the law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. In 2010, Alvarez wrote a letter to the FCC on behalf of Comcast protesting net neutrality rules, arguing that regulators failed to appreciate “socially beneficial discrimination.” The proposed rules, Alvarez wrote in the letter co-authored with a top Comcast lobbyist named Joe Waz, should be reconsidered.
Today, someone in Comcast’s Philadelphia headquarters is probably smiling. Alvarez is now on the other side, working among a small group of legal advisors hired directly under Tom Wheeler, the new FCC Commissioner who began his job in November.
As soon as Wheeler came into office, he also announced the hiring of former Ambassador Philip Verveer as his senior counselor. A records request reveals that Verveer also worked for Comcast in the last year. In addition, he was retained by two industry groups that have worked to block net neutrality, the Wireless Association (CTIA) and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association.
In February, Matthew DelNero was brought into the agency to work specifically on net neutrality. DelNero has previously worked as an attorney for TDS Telecom, an Internet service provider that has lobbied on net neutrality, according to filings.
Around the time of Delnero’s hiring, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, a former associate general counsel at Verizon, announced a new advisor by the name of Brendan Carr. Pai, a Republican, has criticized the open Internet regulations, calling them a “problem in search of a solution.” It should be of little surprise that Carr, Pai’s new legal hand, has worked for years as an attorney to AT&T, CenturyLink, Verizon, and the U.S. Telecom Association, a trade group that has waged war in Washington against net neutrality since 2006. A trail of online documents show that Carr worked specifically to monitor net neutrality regulations on behalf of some of his industry clients.