One of the White House’s most vocal supporters of Internet regulation has quietly resigned, creating speculation as to whether there is mounting West Wing concern about the scope of President Barack Obama’s plans to tighten federal oversight of Internet business.
Susan Crawford, Obama’s advisor on telecom and Internet policy, resigned last week amid “little fanfare,” reports The American Spectator.
White House sources say that she ran afoul of senior White House economics adviser Larry Summers, who claimed he and other senior Obama officials were unaware of how radical the draft Net Neutrality regulations were when they were initially internally circulated to Obama administration officials several weeks ago. “All of sudden Larry is getting calls from CEOs, Wall Street folks he talks to, Republicans and Democrats, asking him what the Administration is doing with the policies, and he isn’t sure what they’re talking about,” says one White House aide. “He felt blind-sided, and Susan was one of those people who heard about it.” In the end, the proposed regulations were slightly moderated from the original language FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, a Crawford ally, circulated.
Hat tips to Jerry Ellig at George Mason University and Jeffrey Eisenach at Empiris LLC for the spreading the word.