Politicians who backed Ajit Pai’s repeal have introduced deceptive bills intended to confuse the public and derail real open Internet legislation
Today the House Energy and Commerce Committee held its first hearing of the year on the subject of net neutrality. As was rumored, some lawmakers on the committee who backed Ajit Pai’s repeal––and who have received enormous campaign contributions from big telecom––are pushing for deceptive legislation that fails to restore strong open Internet protections needed to prevent abuse by companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T.
These lawmakers think they are very clever, by modeling the bills they are pushing after legislation that has previously been supported by Democrats, or after state level bills, which are not applicable to the Federal level. But net neutrality is not a partisan issue, and tech policy experts see right through the smoke and mirrors here.
Fight for the Future, a leading digital rights group with more than 2 million supporters, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to Deputy Director Evan Greer (pronouns she/her):
"This is just more of the same BS from Big Cable funded politicians. They’re intentionally trying to confuse the public and derail real efforts to restore net neutrality by pushing weaksauce legislation that would undermine the open Internet while claiming to save it. All three of the lawmakers behind these bills essentially rubber stamped Ajit Pai’s repeal of net neutrality; that should tell you everything you need to know about their true intentions.
Unfortunately for them, Internet users aren’t as easily fooled as they think. We’ve been tracking these bad faith efforts to push legislation backed by telecom lobbyists for years, and there’s no way people are going to fall for it. We need strong legislation that reinstates the FCC rules that never should have been repealed, and doesn’t leave loopholes for Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T to scam us and control what we see online.”