Walt Mossberg has an idea on what to do about the internet’s growing problems.
I’m going to propose here a way we can protect the internet, at least in America, from both political whiplash in D.C. and the constant commercial overreach that threatens it. I say we treat the internet as both a unique resource and a great common engineering project, something that merits government protection.
Uh huh. Or, is it, ‘Uh oh?’
I suggest that Congress pass a broad law setting out the national interest in protecting the internet and the general principles by which that protection would be defined… Then, in that same bill, Congress creates a special, permanent, nonpartisan independent commission, or even a special, narrowly focused court, to adjudicate disputes about internet issues as they arise, by interpreting the law. This would build up a body of precedent. Notice I am not suggesting the writing of any regulations, because this idea aims for the lightest touch possible. This entity would also remove the politically charged, slow-moving, compromised FCC and FTC from internet regulation.
Oh, a Secretary of the Internet.