This Thursday, the FCC voted to take down Net Neutrality rules within the US, an action that it states is “protecting internet freedom.” It seems that supporters of Net Neutrality won’t let this slide quietly, as the FCC will potentially face a legal battle.
Net Neutrality, for those not in the know, is what keeps data equal in the United States. It stops Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from placing an extra charge on certain services like Netflix, or or intentionally the throttle speeds of its users. The regulation was brought about in 2015 under Obama’s administration.
Despite the 3:2 vote to repeal, it’s not yet over for those wanting to preserve an open internet, as FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel urges to “keep up the fight” and let their voices be heard. After all, the process has to pass Congress, which can overrule if it chooses to.
Elsewhere, California state senator Scott Wiener has also proposed that each state should be able to govern itself, with Wiener wanting to introduce a bill to continue Net Neutrality in California.
— The FCC (@FCC) December 14, 2017
New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman also wants to throw a spanner in the works, planning to file a lawsuit against the FCC to stop what he considers is an “illegal rollback” of the policy due to the corruption during the FCC’s commenting process. Joining the legal front are the EFF and Free Press, which are also prepared to sue.
The situation itself is not particularly great for supporters of Net Neutrality, as courts often “side with agencies on those types of issues,” according to University of Pennsylvania Law School professor Christopher Yoo in an interview with Wired. That being said, it’s far from over and there’s more to be done as we expect to see more lawsuits and attempts to derail the repeal moving forward.
Menwhile, the EU is still protected by Net Neutrality rules of its own that were implemented last year, and other countries have it built into their laws. That’s not to ignore the ripple effect that the FCC’s decision will have on the rest of the world as a significant portion of traffic makes its way through the United States.
Many are continuing to use FightForTheFuture in an attempt to keep Net Neutrality intact.
KitGuru Says: While no one should pin their hopes on a swift change of decision, the course of action can eventually sway towards public opinion. Do you think Net Neutrality should be preserved?