Nathan Simington has been appointed by Donald Trump to fill a vacant FCC post, after the White House withdrew Michael O’Rielly’s appointment for another term on the commission.
Simington is a senior adviser in the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, specializing in network and telecommunications policy. Regarding Trump’s directive, the NTIA recently asked the FCC to consider changes that would lessen liability protections for how social media platforms moderate third-party content. Trump released the executive order after Twitter put fact-checking labels on his tweets, which he said was a model of social media companies’ bias against conservatives.
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If confirmed, Simington will take the seat vacated by O’Rielly, who has served on the committee since 2013. Both are Republicans, but O’Rielly gave a speech in July in which he expressed doubts over the proposals to target social media. platforms for the way they organize their content.
“Like it or not, the protections of the First Amendment apply to corporate entities, especially when they engage in editorial decision-making,” said O’Rielly.
The White House withdrew O’Rielly’s appointment on August 3.
At the time, O’Rielly’s appointment for another term was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee, but was blocked by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK). The issue involved the FCC’s order to allow Ligado Networks to create a low-power 5G network on spectrum that was used for radar and GPS.
“I extend my sincere congratulations to Mr. Simington on his selection to join @FCC, and I offer you my best wishes for a smooth confirmation process and a successful tenure on the Commission,” O’Rielly said in a message. posted on Twitter. O’Rielly’s five-year term has already expired, but he can continue to serve on the board until the end of the year or until his successor is confirmed.
Simington was also a senior advisor to Brightstar Corporations and was a lawyer in private practice. He received his JD from the University of Michigan Law School, two Masters from the University of Rochester and his BA from Lawrence University. He is originally from Saskatoon, Canada, and became a U.S. citizen in 2017.
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