Despite overwhelming opposition from Congress, technical experts, advocacy organizations, and the American people, the FCC has voted by a 3 to 2 margin of the commissioners to eliminate 2015’s Open Internet Order and the net neutrality protections it established. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gave a huge gift to his former employer, Verizon Communications, and other Internet Service Providers (ISPs) when he proposed to allow the the ISPs to spy on their customers’ online activities and then either use that information themselves or sell the information to the highest bidders. He managed to convince three of the five FCC commissioners to go along with the proposal and it became a fact this week. The new rules repeal the consumer protections put in place a few years ago that prohibited the online spying.
Consumers, privacy advocates, and many others have objected to the new rollback of consumer protection. Several states have recently enacted their own rules prohibiting prohibiting the online spying by ISPs within their own states. Now the Attorneys General from 22 states and the District of Columbia on Thursday refiled legal challenges intended to block the Trump administration’s repeal of landmark rules designed to ensure a free and open internet from taking effect.
The attorneys general argue that the FCC cannot make “arbitrary and capricious” changes to existing policies and that it misinterpreted and disregarded “critical record evidence on industry practices and harm to consumers and businesses.”
Details may be found in an article David Shepardson in the Reuters web site at: http://reut.rs/2EXG3qi.