The Biden Administration has re-nominated public interest champion Gigi Sohn to fill the crucial fifth seat at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Digital rights group Fight for the Future, who led massive online protests opposing the repeal of net neutrality and demanding oversight of telecom monopolies, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to the group’s director, Evan Greer (she/her):
“Gigi Sohn should already be at the FCC. Without her, the agency has been effectively kneecapped—unable to reverse the disastrous policies of the Trump administration, restore net neutrality, address privacy violations, and ensure affordable Internet access for all.
There’s no mystery about what has caused the inexcusable delay in confirming Sohn, a highly qualified nominee with decades of experience and a powerful track record advocating for transparency and accountability. Gigi Sohn has been the target of a dark money smear campaign funded by telecom giants who want to pick their own regulator. Embarrassingly, Senate Democratic leadership have allowed these unfounded attacks to drag out the process. By this time in the Trump administration, the FCC had already gutted net neutrality rules. Biden doesn’t even have a functioning commission.
The delays are also disastrous for privacy and reproductive rights, which Senate Democrats and the Biden Administration say are top priorities. The FCC has significant authority to protect the privacy of people seeking and providing abortions by cracking down on the collection, sale, and sharing of cell phone location data. But right now the agency is sitting on its hands, because it can’t do any of these things without a fifth commissioner.
Enough is enough. The Senate must move swiftly to confirm Gigi Sohn so that the FCC can get back to work protecting people’s basic human rights and ensuring access to affordable, open Internet for all.”