Millions of records that the Federal Communications Commission’s top lawyer once fought to hold back from state law enforcement officials now serve as key evidence in a year-long probe into cases of Americans being impersonated during the agency’s latest net neutrality proceeding.
The death of federal network neutrality protections in the US didn’t only give Internet service providers license to penalize customers who don’t agree to buy their services. It also pointlessly mystified the process whereby consumers acquire the most basic, unsimplified details about their home internet’s price, speed, and capacity.
Rep Anna Eshoo (D-CA) wrote a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai asking if he would like to correct his testimony delivered to the House Commerce Committee at an oversight hearing May 15. Warning FCC Pai that “lying to Congress is a federal crime,” Rep Eshoo wrote there existed a “chasm” between what Chairman Pai told the committee and what Rep Eshoo herself heard from other FCC officials following the meeting.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Promised New Jobs and 'Better, Cheaper' Internet. His ISP Pals Have a Different Plan
During the push to repeal net neutrality in 2017, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai made a lot of big promises.
An organization run by a former Trump campaign statewide director is being investigated by the New York attorney general’s office for its role in submitting potentially hundreds of thousands of fraudulent comments to the Federal Communications Commission during the agency’s 2017 efforts to rollback Obama-era network neutrality rules. Research reveals the group’s deep ties to prominent GOP firms, including one paid more than $31 million by the Republican National Committee (RNC) to provide email lists of potential voters during the 2016 campaign.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) joined CA state senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), firefighters, state legislators and community advocates in support of CA Senate Bill 822, which would enact the strongest net neutrality standards in the nation. “Once we have established California as a model of a state taking action, other states may follow,” she said. “And then I think you will see some of corporate America say, okay, let’s have a federal law because we don’t...want to do different things in different states,” she says.
As it wrestled with accusations about a fake cyberattack, the Federal Communications Commission purposely misled several news organizations, choosing to feed journalists false information, while at the same time discouraging them from challenging the agency’s official story.
At its own discretion, the Federal Communications Commission has chosen to block the release of records related to a video produced in 2017 in which FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and a Verizon executive joke about installing a “Verizon puppet” as head of the FCC.
Rep Mike Coffman (R-CO), a staunch conservative in nearly every sense, called on the Federal Communications Commission to delay its upcoming vote in a letter, saying Congress should find a “permanent legislative solution to ensure the continuation of a free and open Internet.” “The Internet has been and remains a transformative tool,” Coffman writes, “and I am concerned that any action you take may alter the rules under which it functions and may well have significant unanticipated negative consequences.” Rep Coffman then threw FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s own—actually quite elegant—words back
On December 14th, the Federal Communications Commission will vote to replace current rules enforcing network neutrality. Nothing short of an extinction-level event will prevent it. But before abandoning all hope, know that while the battle for net neutrality at the FCC may have been lost, the war isn’t even close to a conclusion. In reality, the net neutrality fight is merely migrating to a different theater, namely, the US Courts of Appeals. And excluding the possibility of a Supreme Court challenge, the outcome may very well drag on for another year and a half or more.