Net Neutrality was overturned by the FCC in a 3 to 2 vote yesterday

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Because we can’t take a step forward without being shoved back into a muddy puddle almost immediately, the FCC overturned net neutrality yesterday, as was widely expected. Three Republican men on the five person FCC panel made the decision to dismantle consumer protections and disable a free and open internet despite widespread bipartisan outcry against it. I watched the entire hearing yesterday and all of the panelists who voted to overturn Net Neutrality characterized the opposition as alarmist and out of touch. Several cited the profane comments they received, and all three showed disdain for the public, promising that the free market would correct itself and that we could trust the telecom industry to regulate itself. (If you’re not familiar with net neutrality it’s a measure enacted in 2015 that classifies internet service providers as telecom utilities under government regulation. It requires ISPs to treat all websites equally and not to disable access or slow down access to certain sites. You can read more about net neutrality and why it matters here, on Vox.)

The two Democratic women on the FCC panel were the sole dissenters, Commissioners Rosenworcel and Clyburn, and they were impassioned and convincing on behalf of the public. As Commissioner Clyburn stated, “the fix was in” however and there was nothing they could do. It’s almost as if it didn’t matter at all that the public was rallying against this measure. Incidentally, there was fraud in the online comments submitted on the measure, with Russian bots and comments made using stolen identities. For this reason alone the vote should have been delayed, but the men who were dead set on pushing it through used it as an excuse to disregard the majority opinion. 18 Attorneys general requested that the FCC delay this vote due to commenting fraud and identity theft, a federal crime, and were ultimately ignored. The FCC has not held one public hearing on this sweeping measure that affects all Americans with Internet access.

The new FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, was of course appointed by Trump and used to be Verizon’s chief counsel. He argued repeatedly that the telecoms couldn’t expand broadband access and invest in their networks unless the government let them do whatever they wanted to consumers. His comments were woefully out of touch and ignored the concerns of millions of Americans that their Internet access would be heavily controlled by a small handful of corporations.

I take comfort in Commissioner Clyburn’s promise that “the fight to save net neutrality does not end today” and that “the agency does not have the final word.” Commissioner Rosenworcel was equally badass, promising that she’s “not going to give up” and telling us to persist. “If the arc of history is long, we are going to bend this toward a more just outcome… Let’s persist, let’s fight, let’s not stop here or now. It’s too important, the future depends on it.

Legal challenges will of course be mounted against this. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is suing the FCC and hopefully more attorneys general will follow suit. What’s more is that, by disabling net neutrality, Pajit may have screwed the Republican party more than they’re already screwed. Net neutrality is an issue that 83% of voters support and this will hopefully propel us to victory in the 2018 elections, when Congress can wipe this disgusting decision off the books.

Also, this is the kind of asshattery that Pai thinks is funny and cute. This is an actual video he made to convince the public that dismantling net neutrality is a good idea. He thinks he’s parodying himself I guess, but instead he’s showing that he thinks consumer protections and the Internet are a joke. (Note that Youtube deleted the primary copy of this, the one on the main page of Reddit, after a copyright claim.)

Let’s end with these comments from Commissioner Clyburn. I was so impressed by her and by Commissioner Rosenworcel.

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63 Responses to “Net Neutrality was overturned by the FCC in a 3 to 2 vote yesterday”

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  1. Tan says:

    Pai is to Indians as Omirosa is to Blacks

    Arselicking *********

    When he goes down I would celebrate

    • Saras says:

      Will be interesting to find out who stole around 2 million identities to comment positively about net neutrality. That’s a pretty big scandal. When it’s too expensive and slow in a few years people will stop using it as much or shopping with it. I am gen x and had a half digital and half analog life so I will not miss it as much. These greedy pigs can choke on the boycotts and lost sales. Besides everything is so monitored, hacked, and invasive now it’s only going to get worse!

      • Izzy says:

        PATTY DUKE was one of the identities stolen. Mackenzie and Sean Astin were tweeting about it. It made me sick. I actually went onto a website to search and check if they had stolen my late stepmother’s name too, because some BS company already tried to scam me by calling and saying her estate owed 5K on an unsettled debt (DEFINITELY not true) and tried to get me to cough up.

      • Holly hobby says:

        Yep Patty Duke who’s been dead for a few years. I read there were a lot of pro comments from dead people. That alone should invalidate this joke.

        Pai should be arrested for fraud.

      • Jess says:

        Just to clarify the comment by Saras, who wrote: “Will be interesting to find out who stole around 2 million identities to comment positively about net neutrality.” That should be “to comment negatively about net neutrality.”

        Net neutrality is what we’re fighting for. The two million identities were stolen in order to make fake comments that supported the FCC’s decision to end net neutrality.

    • anon says:

      i’m indian. i respect the right of people of jndia origin to have different opinions.its not as if the democratic or republican party do much for us. just believe in what you tbjbn yky are right.

  2. Nicole says:

    Once again a black woman trying to save the day. I wouldn’t trust a company to do the right thing ever. That’s like trusting a thief in your house for an hour. Of course they are going to rob you blind if given the chance.
    However it’s not over. Jam the phone lines. There’s already 10 states that have filed or will file a lawsuit today. I’ve been calling about this and the tax bill and CHIP.

    • LAK says:

      The first lines in your comment…….it’s as if the FCC don’t remember what happened when banking regulations were removed. The public having to bail out the banks that had screwed that very same public due to their unregulated free market tomfoolery.

      • happyoften says:

        Oh, they remember. They just do not care so long as they mank bank before it all goes sideways. And then they’ll make money on that, too.

      • Nicole says:

        Well it worked out fine for the banks it’s the rest of us that got screwed. They got a bailout.
        They don’t care as long as it gets them $$ I’m the end

      • happyoften says:

        @ Nicole

        Yep. It’s a feature, not a bug.

    • Sadezilla says:

      Correct. This is why Citizens United is such a scary decision. Corporations are not people. They have no moral barometer. They will do whatever they can to maximize profit, and it often hurts living people.

      Also, Pai is such an obvious Verizon stooge. His arguments are disingenuous, and frankly, insulting. I hate the “I’m a goofy, likeable guy” schtick. Your particular sense of humor is irrelevant, Ajit Pai. You’re a paid hack dismantling consumer rights to inure profit to your corporate overlord, and we see you!

  3. A says:

    This is why we need a participatory democracy. I’m absolutely sick if these people autonomously doing what they want and us paying the price.

  4. Izzy says:

    Ajit Pai: useless tool and corporate shill.

  5. grabbyhands says:

    Well, it has been great being here with everyone. I assume the time is coming fast where we might not be able to do this if this moron does what he says he wants to do.

    • Esmom says:

      Ha, I thought of the same thing. It’s hard to imagine how this might all shake out but anything is possible so we might as well make the most of our free and open access while we can. Sigh.

  6. RBC says:

    With every decision that this administration makes or when they repeal anything that is connected with the former Obama administration, I always think who “ has the most to gain”
    I would not be surprised if certain people have a vested interest in this decision. This administration is very blatant in being all about business and making money, at the expense of the public.

    • Sweet Dee says:

      There’s a thread on reddit where people went to find out how much their republican representatives took from comms companies this year (data likely from propublica) and the post usually reads something like “Marco Rubio sold me out to comcast for $56789 in 2017.” I tend to think the same about cabinet members like this stooge here, only it’s not publicly available information. I doubt Verizon ever stopped paying him, you know?

  7. wood dragon says:

    It ain’t over yet. Between the lawsuits and the fuss we have to make to this recalcitrant, Republican dominated Congress we just might be able to affect this.

  8. wheneight says:

    To anyone who still says both parties are the same, this is for you. Absolutely disgusting.

  9. Cannibell says:

    I am wishing that Hell is real this morning so Pai and company can rot there. Thank goodness for Schneidermann, which will hopefully borrow enough time for others to get on board. I just made a donation to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which, I’m sure, was well-prepared for this and is already several steps ahead on dealing with it.

    (“The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. We work to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology grows.”)

  10. OriginalLala says:

    when will governments stop believing the fallacy that companies will regulate themselves? what a crock.

    • Annabelle Bronstein says:

      Its especially funny considering that a corporations sole purpose -by law- is to make money. Not to protect consumers (in fact a corporation could be sued by its shareholders for being too kind to consumers).

    • Betsy says:

      When large swaths of our nation stop pretending in bootstrap nonsense.

    • Veronica says:

      Legit had my Republican senator respond to my concerns with the fact that this move will “help stop the government micromanaging a resource.” I know there are plenty of people dumb enough to pick up on those keywords and HURR HURR BIG GOVERNMENT IS BAD, but I literally had to physically restrain myself from asking him how f*cking stupid he thought I was. I’m 31 years old. I lived through the 2000s recession; I know how little corporations can be trusted. A government can be replaced via vote. A corporation can not.

  11. Sixer says:

    Somebody tweeted a link where you can search to see whether your identity was purloined for the comments section. People were seeing themselves, relatives who had died, friends who had emigrated years ago, all sorts.

    As soon as you think nothing else can shock you, something does.

    • Esmom says:

      The fact that they blew over this heinous fraud and went ahead with the vote should be shocking but it’s clear that unfettered dishonesty is our new normal. After a brief moment of joy and hope in the wake of Alabama on Tuesday I’m back to hating most everyone. Grr.

    • Annabelle Bronstein says:

      The link is here:

      Check for your name and family members’ names! Considering 90% of the public agree on net neutrality, it’s possible that even more identities were stolen.

    • Sixer says:

      I just couldn’t believe it. So brazen. So anti-democratic. And imagine checking that link and finding your mother, who only died a month or so ago, as some people actually were, in real time on Twitter. It’s heinous.

  12. Crystal says:

    If you haven’t checked to see if your identity was stolen and used for those comments, please check out the tool on the ny attorney general’s site. Report it using their online form if you find any and also check any dead relatives. Found someone who had been dead 20 years who magically commented supporting this repeal. Never know how helpful this could be in fighting the case in court.

  13. Giulia says:

    I watched a video of this jerk making fun of public outcry against the repeal. The proper response to bots would have been not to vote until the issue was cleared up. But the fix was in anyway, so public comment didn’t matter. Just infuriating.

    Question though: Doesn’t throttling also threaten banking and brokerage online? Can access be denied without paying now? That’s a direct threat to the banking system, no? Also housing (mortgages), government (social security, etc) and all the endless necessities of modern life. Internet should be a public utility free to access for just these reasons!

    • Esmom says:

      Yours is the same question I had. Also healthcare is also a big piece as most providers use the web for patient communications and management, not to mention insurance companies and pharmacies. When these guys say they want to see us “go back to the 60s,” do they also imagine doctors going back to making house calls? WTF?

  14. Esmom says:

    And of course Donald Jr had to go spitefully and inaccurately tweeting about Pai being Obama’s FCC chair appointee. And him saying most people probably have no understanding of net neutrality is rich coming from a Trump. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the family of our POTUS saying reassuring and intelligent things instead of resorting to petty partisan taunting? I really despise Jr.

    It pisses me off beyond reason that yet again something Obama did in the spirit of bipartisanship has been weaponized.

    • Div says:

      Juniors an ass. It drives me nuts that people don’t understand that it’s a bipartisan thing with the FCC involving the senate and the house & he wasn’t put in charge as Chair, even if he was part of it, until Trump was in power. Yes, he was appointed originally under Obama because there had to be a Republicsn appointee just as Trump appointed a Democrat because it was required by law. Neither one picked tho, that was left to a committee before they had to technically approve it. Trump was the ass who made him the chair tho instead of just a member & gave him the true power.

    • mary says:

      woops duplicate

    • mary says:

      his assumption that the people are so ignorant that we the public has only known about net neutrality for the past week is insulting.

      I’m in California and connected to Silicon Valley and this has been a topic of discussion for a long time. I understand we may be in a bit of a bubble here in Silicon Valley but for Donnie Jr to assume people are ignorant to this issue until this week is SO INSULTING. It never ends.

      This whole administration is like a bad acid trip that you can’t stop

      • tealily says:

        I work in an information science environment in the deep south and net neutrality has long been on our radars, as well. Absolutely insulting.

      • Esmom says:

        I think he was projecting in typical Trumpian fashion — I can’t imagine he himself had any clue about it a week ago.

    • Morgan says:

      Over on Fox News, this is being sold as ending “Obama-era regulations” because obviously getting rid of something Obama did must be good! All the commenters think it’s great and have zero idea what it means.

  15. Annabelle Bronstein says:

    When bros say they don’t understand what women mean by “gaslighting,” or why it matters, I am going to refer them to Pai’s actions regarding net neutrality.

    • tealily says:

      Absolutely! A friend of a friend on social media was asking what the anti net neutrality argument was — not just “money,” but what their actual talking points are — and I had to say that even after listening to the statements yesterday, I wasn’t entirely sure. They seem to just be saying “it will be better for you.” Gaslighting is absolutely the word.

      • Alexandria says:

        Omg I just asked my husband the same question because I legit wanted to know what exactly are said to sell this? We aren’t even Americans. I couldn’t think of any benefit to the internet user.

  16. Veronica says:

    The most blatant form of elitist power grabbing. Acting as though the Internet isn’t a basic resource at this point is ridiculous. This isn’t like cable where viewing it is optional. EVERYTHING utilizes the web. Business. Job searching. Education. Media relations. Phone services. For the party of “business,” they certainly seem to have no f*cking clue about the long term ramifications of these kinds of decisions.

    The bigger thing that should worry all of us, though, is the impact this will have on freedom of information. We think the Fox News demographic is scary now? Wait until it’s stripped down even more, when providers can block their competitors or funnel limited information to the public. The fact that Pai complained about places like Twitter being “unfair” to conservatives should tell you everything you want to know about the real motivations here.

  17. Tiffany says:

    The neutrality started with the Bush Administration and was finalized with the Obama Administration.

    So Orange Stalin is truly a idiot and so is that namesake that is constantly reminded that he is not the favorite.

  18. Nic919 says:

    This is horrible. There isn’t enough time to list all the examples of things going wrong when corporations have control and free reign over any industry and this jackass tries to pretend it will be better. Only for companies to make profit and not anyone else. What also annoys me is that the FCC decision may also affect Canadian internet access… and that annoys me too because our government isn’t a corrupt corporate shill and none of the political parties here would be greedy and stupid enough to even try this.

    The orange menace needs to go.

  19. adastraperaspera says:

    San Diego Free Press reported that Pai is involved with the Proud Boys group, a vicious, far-right men’s rights group. He is in a video with some of them. Clearly he is doing corporate bidding and not truly representing us. The FCC is our agency. This is illegal. This will not stand.

  20. Sadezilla says:

    Also, did y’all see that in that ridiculous, not funny video, one of the people Pai is dancing with is a Pizzagate propagator. Not a good look.

  21. Lindy says:

    I am here for these two women standing up to the bullshit peddlers and the kleptocrats. This has been a brutal, horrific year but if have a shred of hope, it’s that the year began with the women’s march, has continued with #metoo, and has forced white women to examine their “feminism” and start working on a cultural shift. (Long way to go before that cultural shift becomes truly positive. But it feels like it’s actually a part of things finally).

    I hope they’re right that the fight over net neutrality isn’t really over yet.

  22. mary says:

    Ok I’m a proud “liberal elitist” but I read that Obama actually appointed this joke to the FCC a few years ago and Trump made him Chairman. This is stated on the FCC website. That was disappointing to hear.

    This guy is looking for 15 minutes of fame with these “Look at me!” videos he posts online. The videos and twitter are so unprofessional for someone of his level in government. When did it become socially acceptable and celebrated to be so GD unprofessional and tactless? ugh

    Just a slap in the face to Americans.

    Even the stoopid Trumptards are going to see they are getting screwed by the Republican party here on this one. They can’t blame this one on emails and Hilary.

    • Veronica says:

      The FCC requires partisan divide amidst council members, so while three members can be of the same affiliation as the president, two of them must be of opposing political position. That’s why Obama put him on there. Pai could have been removed or placed in a position other than chair. The decision to make him head of the council still falls on Trump, regardless of how much he wants to push the load off on someone else.

    • tealily says:

      Yes, you’re right. A lot of the reporting on this hasn’t really explained it, but what Veronica said.

    • Neelyo says:

      If anyone is to blame it’s McConnell. He’s the one who picked Pai as the Repub representative.

  23. mary says:

    they better not charge me more or slow down my connection to Celebitchy because I will lose my ‘ish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Nothing like 5 people deciding the fate of MILLIONS. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE IN THE WORLD

    • Veronica says:

      Citizens in this country think politics is a game that must INSPIRE!! them instead of a very serious responsibility on the part of the voting public to regulate their own government. People who stayed home for purposes of “moral conscious” or just downright apathy are getting a front row seat as to how much damage a corrupt and incompetent administration can do in a very short period of time.

    • HK9 says:

      Actually, come to think of it, a mob of angry Celebitches would probably be able to fix this. 🙂

  24. Hehe says:

    I hope this is overturned .
    Free internet for all

  25. Helen Smith says:

    I’m not buying Pai’s attempts to look like a funny crazy guy with his Santa hat videos or his big Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups photos. He is a souless evil goon for the cable and phone companies. He should’ve done a video of himself dressed as Mr. Grinch. End of. I hope the next president’s FCC Chairman undoes this damage to a free internet.

  26. Thomas says:

    A face worth punching. I hope that instant karma gets this goon.

  27. Justjj says:

    Who are these lecherous right wing parasites that have risen seemingly out of the ground everywhere all of a sudden to make decisions that are always terrible for everyone except themselves and their corporate sponsors? Fuck this guy.