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U.S. Senate approves bipartisan resolution to restore net neutrality rules

Discussion in 'The NF Café' started by Catalyst75, May 16, 2018.

  1. Catalyst75 Well-Known Member

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    The Senate approved a resolution Wednesday that aims to undo a sweeping act of deregulation undertaken last year by the Federal Communications Commission, issuing a rebuke to the Trump administration, which supported the FCC’s move.

    The resolution targets the FCC’s vote in December to repeal its net neutrality rules for internet providers. If successful, the legislative gambit could restore the agency’s regulations and hand a victory to tech companies, activists and consumer advocacy groups.

    The congressional effort comes less than a month before the rules are officially expected to expire, on June 11. And the high-profile vote could shine a spotlight on lawmakers running for reelection during a tough midterm season.

    “The Senate vote, on the eve of mid-terms, could have significant political effects,” said Marc Martin, a telecom lawyer at Perkins Coie in Washington. But, he cautioned, it remains unclear how many voters will actually be motivated by net neutrality to go to the polls.

    Senate supporters of the FCC rules put forward the legislation under the Congressional Review Act, a law that permits Congress to revisit — and reject — decisions by administrative agencies within a certain window of their approval. The resolution, or CRA for short, passed with the backing of all 49 Democratic senators and three Republicans: Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John Kennedy of Louisiana and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

    “Today, we show the American people who sides with them and who sides with the powerful special interests and corporate donors who are thriving under this administration,” Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., who is leading the CRA effort, said on the Senate floor Wednesday morning.

    Kennedy, whose vote was closely watched as one of the few Republicans siding with Democrats on the issue, said he was ultimately persuaded to vote yes because more than 1 in 5 Louisianans lack choice in their broadband provider. “It was a fairly close call, but I’ll tell you what it comes down to: The extent to which you trust your cable company,” Kennedy told The Washington Post moments after casting his vote. “If you trust your cable company, you’re not going to like my vote today. If you don’t trust your cable company, you will.”

    Still, it is unclear what fate may await the measure in the House. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., urged the House to take up the issue quickly.

    “House Republicans don’t have to choose the same path that the vast majority of Republicans in the Senate chose,” Schumer said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. “The American people have spoken. Speaker Ryan should listen.”

    House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has said lawmakers in that chamber are focused on designing their own legislation to “permanently address this issue,” casting doubt on whether the Senate resolution can advance. And given the White House’s endorsement of the FCC’s repeal, analysts say, it is unlikely that Trump will sign the resolution to make it effective. (In one of his first acts of office, Trump last year signed a Republican-backed CRA overturning other FCC rules that established new privacy protections for internet users.)

    The net neutrality regulations, imposed on broadband companies such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast in 2015, banned the industry from blocking or slowing down websites. The rules also prohibited those companies from offering websites and app developers faster, easier access to internet users in exchange for extra fees — a tactic that critics described as digital “fast lanes” that could distort online competition in favour of large, wealthy businesses.

    Despite surviving a court challenge from broadband industry groups seeking to overturn the rules in 2016, they came under fire again a year later — this time from the agency’s new Republican leadership. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai led the charge against the net neutrality regulations, calling them an example of government overreach that discouraged internet providers from investing in upgrades to their networks.

    “Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet,” he said in November, a month before he and the FCC’s two other Republicans, Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr, voted to repeal the rules.

    The agency’s two Democrats at the time, Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel, voted to keep the rules on the books.

    Pai’s opponents have said the rules are a necessary consumer protection as the internet has become more vital to supporting the economic livelihoods of everyday Americans. In surveys, solid majorities say they support the principle of net neutrality generally, and the FCC’s rules in particular.

    “Pai’s so-called ‘Restore internet Freedom’ order was built on a mountain of false premises — about the law, the state of investment ... and public sentiment,” Tim Karr, a consumer advocate at Free Press, tweeted Tuesday.

    Trade groups representing internet providers sent a letter to Capitol Hill on Tuesday urging lawmakers to vote against the CRA. Calling on Congress to reject the resolution in favour of developing bipartisan legislation to replace the FCC rules, the groups argued that the CRA does “nothing” to address the data mining and other practices of tech companies who have come under growing scrutiny for their role in facilitating the spread of online misinformation and harassment.

    The internet Association, a trade group backed by Facebook, Uber and others, has said that regulations targeting Silicon Valley on hate speech risks running afoul of the First Amendment. It also said last week that consumers demand strong and enforceable net neutrality rules on internet providers.

    “It is essential that rules be reinstated through any means necessary, including the CRA, courts, or bipartisan legislation,” the group said in a statement.

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    :naruko
     
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  2. Mider T Oh Christmas T!

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    In b4 the House.
     
  3. CrazyAries Truth Hurts

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    I honestly didn’t expect Joe Kennedy to vote with the Democratic Caucus on this issue, but I knew Lisa Murkowski was a possibility because she and Susan Collins have voted with Democrats before. Kennedy was introducing a bill to make the FCC’s December 2017 decision permanent, but it sounds like the right people made calls to him.

    There is going to be an even bigger fight in the House, but if Democrats can effectively make net neutrality an election issue, all bets are off.

    Pai is full of shit. He talks about the 2015 Open Internet Order being “government overreach,” but his order has a clause that tries to preempt state governments from protecting net neutrality.

    I don’t like to defend companies like Facebook or Google, but ISPs like Verizon lobbied Congress in order to be allowed to sell people’s data, or at least be protected from lawsuits for not sufficiently protecting people’s information. Also, there is only so much social media companies like Facebook and Twitter can do to combat hate speech and misinformation before they run afoul of the First Amendment. They are within their rights to shut down certain accounts that only seek to promote hate speech, violence, and discrimination, but when they try to say which sources are valid or invalid, that’s a sticky situation.
     
  4. Atlas .

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    Would you look at that. Everyone opposed has that sacred "R" next to their name. Vote all those fuckers out.
     
  5. Chelydra Devour them all.

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    How can you call it "bipartisan" when only three Republicans voted in favor of this? This barely passed the first hurdle, I doubt it will survive. :/ Hopefully the midterms help sort this looming disaster out.
     
  6. NeoTerraKnight Well-Known Member

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    It must be a big midterm issue along with holding Trump accountable for his lies.
     
  7. Samus Aran Derp

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    Although I guarantee you that if the president was a Democrat, those votes would most likely flip the other way. Money talks louder in this issue than party lines.
     
  8. NeoTerraKnight Well-Known Member

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    Pro-Net Neutrality has been part of the Democrat platform since 2014.
     
  9. Alita54 Alita>You

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    Sadly I doubt this will pass the house and I doubt even more Trump will sign it. Another reason people need to wake up and finally vote the GOP out.
     
  10. Roman Emperor

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    Considering the debacle with AT&T and Cohen confirmed to having been paid off by Trump, I'm betting this move by the Senate comes as a result of all of that.
     
  11. stream Do something, Naruto!

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    Yeah, there's no chance of this passing the house. And even if it does, Trump will not sign it.

    The Democrats know it, but it's good for their midterms...
     
  12. Amol Chief of Wisdom

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    Like Republicans care about ordinary customers.
    They get paid by rich Telecom companies. Republican Party is party for Rich people. It should be common knowledge now.
    And obligatory,
    Fuck Ajit Pai! :catflip
     
  13. Mider T Oh Christmas T!

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    Pai doubling down on the asshattery
     
  14. wibisana still newbie

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    They will care tho.
    Media (Internet) is controlled by Left (most of the owner tend to be Dem)

    When they start to throtle Breitbart they will be panicking.
    The banning of Alex Jones proves that Republican cant do jact shit to protect him
     
  15. stream Do something, Naruto!

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    God, this guy is a moron. He doesn't even seem to realize he's undermining his own arguments when he claims the FCC had no jurisdiction over net neutrality rules.
     
  16. Roman Emperor

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    So I guess you'd be ok with ISPs throttling your broadband service to particular websites you visit if you don't pay a premium?

    Before you say "I'll just switch to another ISP" consider that if you have that option, chances are other ISPs would be doing the same. If you don't, joke's on you.
     
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