Recently, the FCC doubled down on its attack on net neutrality under its chair, Ajit Pai. Two developments show the FCC’s contempt for anything but their agenda, which looks to kill net neutrality and benefits large companies while stripping U.S. citizens of their rights.
The Net Neutrality Day of Action
On July 12th, companies and individuals across the entire United States teamed up to show the FCC that they believe net neutrality matters. This day of protest was loud and unavoidable for the FCC. The popular site Reddit took the opportunity to show what a world where high speed limits would look like. When visiting the site on the 12th, users would have a pop up appear with a slowly populating text field which explained they had “run out” of high speed data for the month and that they required an upgrade to continue enjoying a fast internet. If a user clicked the “upgrade” button, it brought them to a petition form mostly filled out that could be sent to the FCC.
Other popular online companies participated as well, such as Google and Amazon. The communications platform Discord also had a banner across its top with links to petitions. All of these companies and individuals generated tens of thousands of complaints and petition signatures. This should be eye opening to anyone, especially the FCC, as the organization was put in place to serve the people, not companies. However, this does not seem to be the case as the FCC is refusing to release – or acknowledge, really – the complaints against their continued net neutrality rollbacks. For anyone worried about their freedom of speech being infringed upon, this is clear evidence that the FCC will not only condone such infringement but also actively engage in it.
The Attack That Never Was
Indeed, all those comments and concerns of citizens have been disregarded. Pai and the FCC claim that rolling back regulations will be better for everyone, while offering very little convincing evidence. They have even gone so far as to claim the FCC was attacked back in May 2017 when the first influx of comments supporting net neutrality arrived. While there is some evidence that the FCC was astroturfed, claiming that the FCC was under wholesale attack is an excellent way to invalidate many valid comments.
Tellingly, the FCC cannot produce any evidence suggesting they were attacked in any meaningful way. Pai and the FCC say there is no analysis of the “crippling” cyber attack that they originally claimed had taken place in May. This is worrying because it means that truth and evidence do not matter anymore, and that lies or shaky claims are just fine provided that they further an agenda.
Do not let anyone take away your rights, especially when they try to do it in such a clandestine and malicious way. We will keep you updated as this story continues to unfold.