Biden chooses tech critic Lina Khan to lead

Biden Chooses Tech Critic Lina Khan To Lead

Former Senator John Edwards has been put in charge of the New York State Federal Trade Commission, or the New York State Department of Commerce because of his ties to Senator Joe Bironum (D-NY). The progressive wing in the Statehouse may be trying to appease the tech industry which, if they don't do enough to support the NY State government, will have nothing to do with their agenda to protect consumers. In an article at Business Insider, former State Senator, Lina Khan, called the New York State Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer's pick for FTC chair, "a breath of fresh air," and went on to criticize Bironum's support of the telecom mergers in America. According to the article;


The State of New York is busy with a bunch of "feel good" stories. One such story involves Governor de Leon who appointed Lina Khan to the FTC, stating that she was a consumer protection lawyer. She is an attorney for the Alliance for Competition, Consumers and Privacy, and has worked with Verizon Communications and the FTC. This should not be a problem. If she were a consumer protection lawyer she would be focusing on issues that would directly affect her clients, the businesses she represents. Unfortunately, that is not the focus of this politically-correct press release.


I am worried about some in the State Legislature who would attack Lina Khan for her views on consumer protection. I was just as concerned when Sarah Palin chose her tech adviser from a law firm with the same pro-copyright, pro-NNP agenda. I thought that it was obvious that she was not an objective party, in fact her name sounds eerily similar to the foul-mouthed "Sick Lady." I was even more disturbed when she was given a high-profile job with the NSA. The head of the NSA at the time was Robert S. Kaplan, an employee of the American Civil Rights Union and a long-time member of the Acker Group, which owns Verizon Communications.


Now then, let's look at some consumer protection issues. I don't understand why any public official would listen to a Tech Industry Association spokesperson who calls for fewer regulations on the industry and states that there has been a record of FTC violations of anti-spyware and anti-virus software. There has been no record of such violations. So, I'd say that the Tech Association has the right to make those comments, but not the right to try to scare the American people into thinking that if they use Internet security they might get into trouble with the Federal Trade Commission.


Further, I find it offensive that she states that the FTC has become too political. The three most recent FTC Chairmen has all been former consumers and business owners. Surely someone with that much insider knowledge doesn't believe in the ability of the average consumer to protect himself or herself from cyber criminals? Either that or she is completely unqualified to be the FTC Chairperson.


But perhaps the greatest offense of all is her statement that Americans should trust their government, but not the FTC. If that's what the government is promising them, then I'd say that's another problem. Why is the government promising consumers protection against fraud, when they themselves cannot promise the same? Is the government really committed to protecting consumers from "bad apples"? Someone who have watched the FTC's work over the years, and who has also watched the FTC Chairmen attack good ideas, is someone who will be better able to protect consumers.


Perhaps the worst part of the article is when she claims that consumers must rely on techno-savvy "self-help" books, which apparently are not enough. She calls for more studies of consumer fraud because the Federal Trade Commission lacks the power to protect consumers. That is rather hilarious coming from someone who leads the Consumer Protection Division of the FTC. The fact that she used that exact same phrase, without providing any proof, shows just how little she knows about the tech industry.


This is yet another example of the revolving door between government and big business. If the government needs to change consumer protection laws, then why not let someone with a track record of success in that area to try to lead the FTC. At the very least, someone with an actual knowledge of the issues and a history of winning cases should be leading the FTC. Surely that is the best way to improve consumer protection laws.

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