Congress: We’re Shocked, Shocked There’s Cambridge Analytica Going On in This Establishment

by Mike Wendy on April 11, 2018

They protest too much – the Senators and Congressmen lined up to berate Mark Zuckerberg, striving to look like they’re protecting Americans from Facebook’s creepy habits during this week’s made-for-TV, Capitol Hill theater. They should take a look in the mirror instead. What did they expect when they created the path to subsidize and promote the “free” Internet with their laws and policies?

By supporting “free,” lawmakers implicitly support the underlying legal framework which favors that Internet model – such as the Telecommunication Act’s Section 230, which limits civil liability for platforms when unaffiliated third-party content flows through their properties. Among other things, this piece of the law creates the honeypot everyone comes to the “free” platforms for: “free” (more often than not, pirated) content.

Though recently repealed, you can add Obama’s Net Neutrality law to this. Anyone who supported it supported an official policy that forbade ISPs from fully monetizing their networks, and which also, for all intents and purposes, banned ISPs for competing with companies like Facebook in data markets. Further, this policy officially abstained from regulating the Facebooks of the world via the FCC’s “virtuous circle” authority, further (intentionally) denying a check on the edge.

Other policy and law provide incentives for Facebook and the Internet ecosystem to flourish, too. Some of it good. Some, not so. That said, let’s stop the faux outrage here. Policymakers created the petri dish which allowed (the fake scandal of) Cambridge Analytica to happen. It was inevitable. It was purposeful. It was heavily lobbied and debated before creation.

No one should be shocked.

Funny that politicians are fine to take the credit when things run well. But when they go sideways, they’re all about pointing fingers. Well, take a look in the mirror, boys. You are the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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