Several weeks ago, Republicans in Congress voted to allow internet service providers to sell your internet browsing history to the highest bidder. Trump signed the bill into law, marking a dark day for consumer privacy, and a very profitable win for the telecommunications industry and the lobbyists who support it.
Now, the Trump administration is looking to continue its giveaway to the giant telecom corporations by moving to kill net neutrality. As reported by Politico: “FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Wednesday unveiled his strategy to gut the Obama-era net neutrality rules by weakening his agency’s power over internet service providers, plunging his agency once again into a major policy battle pitting telecom giants against digital activists and tech companies.”
“Pai’s proposal seeks to eliminate the regulatory foundation of the rules…and jettison a general conduct standard giving the FCC authority to oversee ISP behavior. The net neutrality rules require providers like AT&T and Comcast to treat all web traffic equally as it passes through their networks.”
Democrats have decried Pai’s moves, and are vowing to defend the principles and rules of net neutrality. While Republicans did manage to force through the bill putting your browsing history up for sale, the episode was widely viewed as an embarrassment to the party, as it was so transparently a gift to big telecom. Democrats must fight the effort to kill net neutrality not just in Congress, but in the court of public opinion. The more Americans learn about the issue, the more they will resist efforts to destroy a valuable common principle for the sake of the billionaires at AT&T, Comcast, TimeWarner, and other giant telecom corporations.