The Comet

The Fight for Net Neutrality

Jack Corcoran, Staff

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While the fight for net neutrality might seem dead in light of the most recent repeal vote spearheaded by the FCC, it is most certainly not. With 83% of representatives in Congress against the repeal, there is a good chance that Congress will use its right to overrule the FCC’s vote by using the CRA, or the Congressional Review Act, which allows them to overrule any government decisions with a simple majority vote. GOP Congressman Mike Coffman (party-D/R State abbrev. Dash in between, both) and Senator Susan Collins have said that they are in agreement with 15 other lawmakers in both Congress and the Senate to nullify the FCC’s vote. Also, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he is in agreement with 15 other states, Maryland included, to sue the FCC over the vote. Numerous independent foundations plan to sue the FCC over the allegation that they fabricated over 2 million positive comments and did not listen to the dissented comments, creating an unfair commenting process, something the FCC denies.

It’s time to introduce FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the butcher of the once free internet, to US citizens. This Verizon-bought shill was the person who proposed the Net neutrality repeal, which denied internet service providers the right to speed up or slow down certain websites for consumers. Rules state that Comcast can’t slow down a streaming service, like Netflix, to promote their own streaming service. Consequently, they cannot force Netflix into paying for a faster connection. Under the guise of repealing those supposed “terrible” Obama-era policies, Pai killed the one thing that has been able to keep the internet free and open for the last few years–a historic mistake by the new FCC chair. During the vote, while the dissenting voters begged for their fellow commissioners to vote against the order, the others, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai included, made jokes about their pleas and offered half-assed statements on behalf of the repeal. Pai has recently come under much criticism himself as he has rarely ever seriously defended himself. Instead, he’s been making videos on far-right websites that mock his dissenters, even doing the Harlem Shake with a proprietor of the infamous Pizzagate scandal of the 2016 Election Cycle.

The controversial repeal vote went along party-lines as expected with the three male Republicans voting for the repeal, while the two female Democrats voted against it. FCC Commissioners Jessica Wosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn made impassioned pleas against the repeal, with Clyburn saying, “I dissent. I dissent from this fiercely-spun, legally-lightweight, consumer-harming, corporate-enabling Destroying Internet Freedom Order.”

This fight is being fought at the national level and the state level. Let’s fight it on the grassroots level as well. Don’t let Pai and the other corporate hacks take us, the angry public, as idiots that will just let net neutrality die off. Call your local congressman, and use your 2018 midterm vote as leverage in order to make them participate. Use websites like https://www.battleforthenet.com/ to express your grievances towards Congress. Like Commissioner Clyborn, make an impassioned plea on the behalf of all those dissenting votes that weren’t heard. Congress might listen to you; Pai won’t.

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