December 14, 2017

Whitehouse Slams Gutting of Net Neutrality

FCC votes without investigating millions of fake comments calling for net neutrality repeal

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) slammed today’s vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to repeal net neutrality in a major victory over consumers handed to corporate interests by the Trump administration.  The vote comes without a federal investigation into the millions of fake public comments filed with the FCC calling for the consumer protections to be rolled back.

“Repealing net neutrality is a blow to a free and fair internet and the jobs that depend on it,” Whitehouse said.  “It’s also a move based on a process that lacked basic transparency and a record full of fake or fraudulent comments that clearly don’t represent the views of the American people.  The FCC is bowing to special interests and bots.  Here’s the question: who’s behind the bots?”

Whitehouse earlier this month called for the delay of today’s vote to allow federal investigators to look into the sources of the millions of apparently fake public comments on net neutrality that were submitted to the FCC and analyzed by the Pew Research Center.  Whitehouse has joined Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) in announcing a plan to introduce a resolution that would undo today’s action by the FCC and restore net neutrality rules.

Net neutrality rules are Obama-era rules protecting internet access for the public by requiring internet service providers to treat all online content alike.  Once the repeal of net neutrality goes into effect, internet service providers will be allowed to deliberately slow down traffic to some websites and charge some consumers more for better and faster service to benefit the biggest companies.

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