A Democratic member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gave a blistering dissent speech on Thursday as the agency voted down party lines to repeal net neutrality rules.
The 3-2 party-line vote by the FCC repeals rules, put in place in 2015, which banned Internet service providers from blocking or slowing loading speeds for specific websites or apps.
“What is striking, and in keeping with the new norm, is that despite the millions of comments, letters and calls received, this order cites not even one,” said Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn.
“A soon-to-be-toothless FCC, is handing the keys to the internet — the internet, one of the most remarkable, empowering, enabling inventions of our lifetime — over to a handful of multibillion-dollar corporations,” she warned.
“We will be in a world where regulatory substance fades to black, and all that is left is a broadband provider’s toothy grin and those oh so comforting words: ‘We have every incentive to do the right thing,’ ” Clyburn said.
Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, echoed Clyburn’s dissent, warning that “as a result of today’s misguided action, our broadband providers will get extraordinary new power from this agency. They will have the power to block websites, throttle services and censor online content.”
Minutes after the FCC voted to dismantle its net neutrality regulations, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced that he will lead a multistate lawsuit to stop the rollback of net neutrality.
— Eric Schneiderman (@AGSchneiderman) December 14, 2017
“The FCC’s vote to rip apart net neutrality is a blow to New York consumers, and to everyone who cares about a free and open internet,” Schneiderman wrote in a statement. “The FCC just gave Big Telecom an early Christmas present, by giving internet service providers yet another way to put corporate profits over consumers. Today’s rollback will give ISPs new ways to control what we see, what we do, and what we say online. That’s a threat to the free exchange of ideas that’s made the Internet a valuable asset in our democratic process.”
“Today’s new rule would enable ISPs to charge consumers more to access sites like Facebook and Twitter and give them the leverage to degrade high quality of video streaming until and unless somebody pays them more money. Even worse, today’s vote would enable ISPs to favor certain viewpoints over others,” he added.
“New Yorkers deserve the right to a free and open Internet. That’s why we will sue to stop the FCC’s illegal rollback of net neutrality.”
“Today’s vote also follows a public comment process that was deeply corrupted, including two million comments that stole the identities of real people. This is a crime under New York law – and the FCC’s decision to go ahead with the vote makes a mockery of government integrity and rewards the very perpetrators who scammed the system to advance their own agenda,” he said.
“This is not just an attack on the future of our internet. It’s an attack on all New Yorkers, and on the integrity of every American’s voice in government – and we will fight back,” he concluded.