Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Maine AG Joins Group Trying to Block Net-neutrality Repeal

The Senate has votes on push to overrule net neutrality Net neutrality rollback: 22 US attorneys general sue the FCC
Doris Mccormick | 18 January, 2018, 14:10

Additionally, the group is challenging the FCC's reclassification of broadband internet as a Title I information service, rather than a Title II telecommunications service, calling this move "an erroneous and unreasonable interpretation of the Telecommunications Act".

"The internet is a global, public resource". Mozilla Corporation [corporate website] also filed a petition [text, PDF] Tuesday, as did Free Press and Public Knowledge [advocacy websites], two public interest groups.

The rules barred companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from interfering with internet traffic and favoring their own sites and apps.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, whom President Donald Trump appointed, said the repeal is a way to stop the government from "micromanaging the internet", according to CNN.

"However, in repealing the net neutrality rules, the FCC ignored consumers' strong support for a free and open internet", said Attorney General Becerra.

Last week, Senator Markey achieved his goal of gaining 30 co-sponsors for his Congressional Review Act, which will force the Senate to vote on repealing the repeal. There are efforts by Democrats to undo the repeal in Congress.

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The tally leaves supporters just one vote shy of the 51 required to pass a Senate resolution of disapproval, in a legislative gambit aimed at restoring the agency's net neutrality rules. The suit says that the Commission is breaking from the long-standing policy without justification, disregarding and misinterpreting critical record evidence on industry practice and the harm it would cause to consumers and businesses.

The legal challenge could face an uphill battle, however. The different suits may also be consolidated.

Rosenblum spearheaded a letter from 18 state attorneys general to the FCC in early December urging commissioners to delay a vote until investigators could determine whether fraud was committed in the FCC comment process. The vote probably won't happen for a few months. This amounts to all Democrats, both independents, and Republican Susan Collins from Maine. But the resolution would probably run into difficulties in the House, where Republicans have a much bigger majority. Internet providers have promised they will not change how consumers access their online content, but it's hard to trust these huge corporations since they are now legally allowed to do so. In fact, a Washington Post survey found that 83 percent of Americans supported net neutrality.

Other states that joined the petition include California, Illinois, New Mexico and Vermont.

Tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Netflix have come out in support of Net Neutrality.

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