Orwellian FCC Restoring Internet Freedom Order Published
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
On February 22, the order was officially published in the Federal Register – the “Daily Journal of the United States Government.”
The FCC’s so-called “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” repealed vital Net Neutrality digital democracy protections.
Its war on a free and open Internet the way it’s supposed to be hasn’t yet taken effect.
Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can reverse or change regulations by majority vote. It has 60 working days from February 22 to act on the FCC’s Net Neutrality reversal order.
A Senate bill has 50 supporters, one shy of a majority. So far, 114 of 435 House members expressed support for reversing the FCC’s ruling, a long way from a majority.
Even with it in both houses, a Trump veto is virtually certain without overwhelming public pressure on him – still a long shot if applied.
Nearly two dozen law suits so far were filed by states, public interest groups, Mozilla, and the Internet Association, likely more coming.
Lawmakers in 26 states are considering legislation supporting Net Neutrality. Five governors backed it with executive orders.
Communities nationwide are considering ways to protect digital democracy for their residents.
Internet service providers stand to profit greatly from reversing Net Neutrality protections, giving them more control over content, and ability to charge higher prices for services provided – especially for high-speed access.
They’ll also be more able to crowd out new ideas and services, eliminating unwanted competition.
The FCC’s ruling flew in the face of overwhelming public sentiment. Last December, University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy’s Program for Public Consultation (PCC) polling found 83% of registered voters oppose repealing Net Neutrality – nearly 90% of registered Dems and independents, along with 75% of Republicans.
Commenting on the results, PPC director Steven Kull said “(a) decision to repeal net neutrality would be tacking against strong headwinds of public opinion blowing in the opposite direction.”
On February 27, a Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press Action Fund Internet #OneMoreVote day of action is planned – protesting against the FCC’s ruling.
An announcement said the following:
“WHAT WILL HAPPEN ON FEBRUARY 27
Websites, Internet users, and online communities will come together to harness our power to secure the #OneMoreVote we need to pass the CRA resolution in the Senate.
We’ll provide tools for everyone to make it super easy for your followers/visitors to take action.
From the SOPA blackout to the Internet Slowdown, we’ve shown time and time again that when the Internet comes together, we can stop censorship and corruption. Now, we have to do it again!
HOW CAN BUSINESSES HELP?
We’ve learned that Congress listens to business owners. If you own a business, you can tell Congress you support net neutrality by signing our letter supporting the CRA here.
If you don’t own a business, you can still help out by tweeting at businesses in your area. Learn more here.
WHAT IS NET NEUTRALITY?
Net neutrality is the basic principle that protects our free speech on the Internet. ‘Title II’ of the Communications Act is what provides the legal foundation for net neutrality and prevents Internet Service Providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T from slowing down and blocking websites, or charging apps and sites extra fees to reach an audience (which they then pass along to consumers.)
The Internet has thrived precisely because of net neutrality. It’s what makes it so vibrant and innovative – a place for creativity, free expression, and exchange of ideas.
Without net neutrality, the Internet will become more like Cable TV, where the content you see is what your provider puts in front of you.”
ISP corporate predators want it this way, destroying the last frontier of free and open expression, the only reliable independent space for real news, information and analysis – enabling everyone to express views freely on any issues without interference.
Greater government and ISP gatekeeper control over online access and content is a diabolical scheme essential to prevent.
Preserving digital democracy depends on it.
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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”