People want their internet. The U.S. government developed it, so the internet belongs to the voters. Yet in 2017, the Trump’s administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) systematically interfered to create one internet for the rich corporations and one for the rest of the country. People’s internet is slower now, but what a deal, they can buy faster internet — for a price.
If everyone had equal access to the same service, that would be called “net neutrality.” and it would be fair. That equality would and did provide the same sites, the same speed, and even the same apps.
The Democratically led House of Representatives will release legislation to give net neutrality back to the people this week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Reuters. The law will be called the “Save The Internet Act.”
The FCC repealed the rule that kept internet providers from offering blocked content or much slower internet service. The internet providers such as Comcast Corp, Verizon, and AT&T saw an opportunity to generate a pile of cash by selling customers the “fast lane” access. Tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Alphabet Inc. opposed the repeal, according to Reuters.
The Republican-controlled Senate voted to reinstate net neutrality in 2018, but the then Republican-led Congress drug its feet until Congress adjourned. Hopefully, that means the Save The Internet Act will pass both houses of Congress now.
The FCC held open meetings for the public to express their desires regarding net neutrality, and people overwhelmingly were for it. However, the FCC allegedly used fake addresses to weigh the scales against net neutrality. That was the evidence the FCC chair Ajit Pai and the Republican-led FCC board used to vote down and reverse net neutrality, 3-2 along party lines.
Pai acknowledged that Russians were involved in providing those fake email addresses. According to CNET, he noted:
‘…the half-million comments submitted from Russian e-mail addresses.’
The Russians used the same techniques to influence the recall of net neutrality as they did in the U.S. 2016 presidential election, CNET reported:
‘It seems groups were employing some of the same techniques to influence the net neutrality debate, which resulted in a record number of comments being submitted to the FCC. But even as comments were pouring in, public policy watchdogs were sounding alarms.’
CNET continued, saying 10 percent of the 22 million comments sent to the FCC had stolen identities:
‘Reviews of the public record found that 2 million of the 22 million comments submitted to the FCC used stolen identities, some for people who were dead, including actress Patty Duke, who died in 2016. Nearly 8 million comments used email domains associated with FakeMailGenerator.com. About half a million were sent from Russian email addresses. And of the emails that came from legitimate email addresses, the vast majority were form letters originating from the same pro- and anti-net neutrality groups.’
‘…asked the appeals court to reinstate the Obama-era internet rules and to block the FCC’s effort to pre-empt states from imposing their own rules guaranteeing an open internet.’
In February, Reuters reported that a federal appeals court heard oral arguments challenging the FCC decision.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.