At around 1:10pm eastern time this afternoon, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai cast the deciding vote to eliminate net neutrality rules established in 2015 under Obama’s FCC chairman, Tom Wheeler. Pai, a former Verizon lobbyist who recently joked (ha-ha) that he is a Verizon puppet, took this action despite public polling that shows the vast majority of Americans, in both parties, support net neutrality, and despite millions of public comments asking the FCC to protect the rules.
But do not despair. Anything human beings do can be undone by other human beings, and this shameful, anti-democratic decision is no different.
On Monday, I had the pleasure of attending a press conference at the offices of Rapid7, a tech firm in downtown Boston. Senator Ed Markey spoke alongside leaders of the Massachusetts technology industry, demanding that the FCC drop its sinister plans to gut net neutrality rules. In the event that the FCC plows ahead, Markey said, he pledged to introduce a measure in the Senate to reverse the FCC vote and protect net neutrality.
— ACLU Massachusetts (@ACLU_Mass) December 11, 2017
That’s the next battlefield. And we need to get active on it starting right now.
A law called the Congressional Review Act allows congress to reject decisions made by regulatory agencies. The very same CRA was what congress used back in the spring of 2017 to eliminate the FCC’s internet privacy rules, which would have barred companies like Comcast and Verizon from selling our browsing data without our opt-in consent. If we can get both chambers of congress to adopt a CRA measure rejecting today’s FCC vote, we can protect net neutrality and the free and open internet it guarantees.
So don’t despair. Instead, take action. Call your members of congress right now and demand that they act to reverse this dangerous FCC vote. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. So get active, get engaged, and fight back.