Aug 12, 2020 - Technology

Adam Candeub to be acting head of Commerce telecom agency

A sign for the U.S. Commerce Department building in Washington, D.C.

Photo: Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty

Adam Candeub, current acting deputy of the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, is being elevated to the role of Acting Assistant Secretary, according to an internal email shared with Axios.

Why it matters: His elevation to a top position at NTIA is sure to be controversial. Mother Jones reported in May that Candeub has ties to white nationalists. Candeub is also a vocal critic of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the law that makes it so online platforms are largely not responsible for what others post.

Context: The NTIA has historically been a fairly staid telecom agency tasked with a portfolio of internet-related issues as well as the management of federally held airwaves.

  • It's become more politically charged under the Trump administration, however. For instance, it was the agency responsible for asking the Federal Communications Commission to write rules to weaken Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, per President Trump's executive order on the matter.

Background: Until April 2020, Candeub was a law professor at Michigan State University. He previously worked at the FCC.

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