Despite the apocalyptic headlines from last week following the FCC’s illegal move to repeal rules protecting net neutrality, internet users should take heart: The fight has only just begun. .
Polls show that the vast majority of American people are opposed to this move (including 75% of Republicans) and it’s time to push back against this authoritarian stunt. The effects of the FCC vote won’t be felt anytime soon (cue sigh of relief) which means there is still time to act. The battle to uphold net neutrality will take place on several fronts.
Firstly, in the courts. The fightback, led by attorney generals from 22 different states will be felt by the FCC at every turn.
According to ZDNet.com, “Lawyers for the states and web companies will argue that given how completely wrong the FCC was in its logic and reasons for killing net neutrality, this new decision should be rejected because the Administrative Procedure Act prohibits regulations that are “arbitrary and capricious.”
Secondly, in Congress. The decision to abolish net neutrality was made by a commission comprised of officials who were never publicly elected. Vesting so much power in this way is an affront to American democracy. Luckily said democratic process gives us a system of checks and balances; tools with which Congress can pushback against authoritarian rulings such as this.
One these tool is the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which Senator Ed Markey from Massachusetts announced last week plans to leverage. This would allow Congress to overturn the FCC’s repeal with a simple majority vote (which would uphold a decision made by Congress two years ago… confusing, right?).
The CRA is designed to provide democratic oversight of decisions made by non-elected commissions such as the FCC. The FCC’s net neutrality repeal comes under this umbrella. Ajit Pai a former Big Telecom executive was appointed by Trump to the chair of the committee. Mr Pai immediately announced his intention of lining the pockets of his former colleagues by repealing an open and fair internet (click here to watch a video of him mocking net neutrality).
It’s not too late to let your views be heard, the FCC’s vote does not reflect the voice of the people. Click here to learn more about how to let your local member of Congress know..
Stand up to internet speed throttling, censorship, and crony capitalism.