FCC – Captured Agency

The Harvard Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics published an expose “Captured Agency”  by investigative journalist Norm Alster on the financial ties between the US federal government’s  Federal communications Commission (FCC) and how, as a result, the wireless industry has bought inordinate access to—and power over—a major US regulatory agency. Alster describes how  the FCC is a “captured agency” meaning it is controlled by the industry it is supposed to be regulating- like the wolf watching the henhouse.

Captured Agency compares the Wireless industry to the tobacco industry in terms of the lobbying and the strategies used to influence public perception. The report describes how the telecom industry is using the same playbook as tobacco.

The Book addresses:

  • The “revolving door” between industry & regulators meaning that persons are moving from positions in the wireless industry to positions in government and vice versa. For example, Tom Wheeler was once Head of the CTIA Wireless Industry and then Head of the FCC.
  • Large financial Investment into lobbying & via “non profit” associations
  • Massive public relations effort
  • Undermining of the credibility of scientists finding biological effects
  • Cutting research monies for science on health effects
  • Designing and publishing contradictory science
  • Trivializing highly credible scientists and experts who raise concerns
  • Misleading about a “scientific consensus”
  • Pushing for minimal regulation
  • Refusal to examine the health evidence
  • Hyper Aggressive  legal action and research bullying
  • Industry influence to Congressional committees