Tech giants' net neutrality legal challenge

Jan 09, 2018, 00:43
Tech giants' net neutrality legal challenge

Republicans now hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, meaning two GOP Senators would need to go against the party for the vote to pass.

A Senate bill to undo the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality rules will receive a floor vote after gaining its 30th co-sponsor.

The lobby group for some of the most powerful United States tech firms said it would join the legal challenge to the planned rollback of "net neutrality" rules requiring internet service providers to treat all online traffic equally.

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Without those rules in place, providers will be free to block customers from accessing rival services, say, or slow down their access to Netflix, as long as they tell customers what they're doing - although the Federal Trade Commission is supposed to keep a watch out or severely anticompetitive moves. "Without strong net neutrality rules, there's nothing to stop the companies that already monopolize the internet from blocking websites or information altogether, so if the Trump Administration won't protect consumers - the State of California will".

"Any lawmaker foolish enough to be on the wrong side of history by voting against the free and open Internet will regret it come election day", Evan Greer, Fight for the Future campaign director, said in a statement Monday.

"The final version of Chairman Pai's rule, as expected, dismantles popular net neutrality protections for consumers", IA President Michael Beckerman said.

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Even so, Markey called the bill a "big step toward restoring a free and open internet", and remains hopeful that net neutrality will be restored. Please contact your Member of Congress and tell them to use the Congressional Review Act to save net neutrality.

Getting a vote is only part of the battle. The fact that no Republicans have signed on to the resolution likely means it would be defeated in a floor vote. Their announcement came on January 5, the day after the FCC introduced the final rules that will govern the internet under this repeal. None of them are Republicans. Senator Brian Schatz a Democrat from Hawaii has said he's hopeful that a new generation of voters who care about the internet will see net neutrality as their defining issue, much like members of the National Rifle Association, who support the Second Amendment. Currently, no Republican legislator has expressed support for the resolution. "The Congressional Review Act gives Congress the power to reverse that corrupt and illegitimate decision and restore the basic protections that enable free expression, creativity, and innovation online".

The FCC's recent repeal of net neutrality rules is going to get a second look, thanks to Senate Democrats.

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