[CORRECTED] Obama's FCC Chair Pick Might Not Understand a Basic Fact About the Internet

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
April 30 2013 6:21 PM

[CORRECTED] Obama's FCC Chair Pick Might Not Understand a Basic Fact About the Internet


Correction, May 1, 2013: This item originally said that someone had deleted Wheeler’s blog. However, while the blog is inaccessible at http://mobilemusings.net/, it is still accessible at http://www.mobilemusings.net. The original erroneous post is below.

President Obama's likely pick to lead the country's Internet regulating body may not understand a fundamental reality of the Internet: You can never fully erase your past.


As Politico reports, Obama will likely nominate Tom Wheeler, a venture capitalist and bundler for the Obama campaign, as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday.

After this news broke, Wheeler's blog on telecommunications was nowhere to be found. Nowhere except the Wayback Machine, that is. It's unclear when Wheeler's blog was deleted, or whether he did it himself. But who.is shows its last activity was in May 2012, though the domain isn't set to expire until 2014.

So, why might Wheeler or the Obama administration want the blog gone?

For one thing, in a 2011 post, Wheeler wrote that if the Obama administration blocked a proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, it would have "structural repercussions for the wireless industry." After the FCC declared its opposition and the Justice Department filed an antitrust suit, AT&T withdrew its bid.

Wheeler did side with the administration in opposing the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, in 2012. Wheeler called the bill "a political train wreck" after the White House responded to a petition against SOPA by saying Obama would not support it.

Still, not for nothing, the blog Wheeler registered in 2010 has a ".net" domain. Perhaps now he'll follow the White House's lead and join Tumblr.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.



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