Published: Tue, December 12, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Tech Pioneers Blast FCC's Net Neutrality Repeal

Tech Pioneers Blast FCC's Net Neutrality Repeal

Now Ajit Pai, son of Indian immigrants and a Republican, who was made the FCC chief by US President Donald Trump in January 2017, is bringing a repeal proposal to that landmark law which is scheduled for voting on December 14. The FCC is now majority-Republican and the agency is expected to vote for the repeal, meaning that by as early as January 2018, the net neutrality rules will be off the books and internet providers could start to charge websites for faster lanes or discriminate against content vis à vis connection speeds however they please.

Online, millions of internet users have amassed in efforts opposing the abolition plans for net neutrality. Or, your own content could be blocked from public view.

"It is important to understand that the FCC's proposed Order is based on a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of Internet technology", the letter, addressed to lawmakers with oversight of the FCC, reads.

A group of activists and websites including Imgur, Mozilla, Pinterest, Reddit, GitHub, Etsy, BitTorrent and Pornhub are planning a campaign Tuesday to draw attention to an upcoming FCC vote that could radically reshape the way the internet works. Then, they will do nothing about the actual bad behavior.

The FCC broke with established practice by not holding any public meetings to hear from citizens and experts about the appeal, the letter states.

"Despite this comment, the FCC did not correct its misunderstandings". NY attorney general Eric Schneiderman recently called the FCC to put off the vote due to these fake comments, claiming that over 1 million Americans had their identities falsely used on the forum. Mr. Pai will kick authority over to the Federal Trade Commission, which is not an expert rulemaking agency and can act only after harms occur. "It should be stopped", the letter concluded.

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The engineers and experts who penned the comment warned that repealing net neutrality could have "dangerous consequences, including stifling future innovation and depressing future investment in the wealth of Internet services that drive such a large part of the US economy". The goal is to accumulate so much attention on the matter during the 48 hours leading up to the vote that the FCC has no choice but to listen.

Congress should cancel the agency's vote, the experts say, because the FCC's "rushed and technically incorrect proposed Order to abolish net neutrality protections without any replacement is an imminent threat to the Internet we worked so hard to create".

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