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In a victory for internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, the Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to repeal net neutrality rules.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, forged ahead with the vote, despite widespread opposition and a request from 18 state attorneys general to delay it over concerns that the public comment process was corrupted by fraudulent messages. The repeal proposal passed 3-2 on party lines. 

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The hearing was temporarily delayed — and the room evacuated — by a bomb threat before Pai could cast the fifth and final vote. Commissioners were permitted to continue after police and dogs searched the empty chamber.

The repeal rolls back so-called “Title II” regulations that classified the internet as a public utility, and which, among other things, required internet service providers, or ISPs, to treat all of the data traveling on their networks equally.

Without the protections of Title II, those ISPs can now legally begin treating data from some websites differently than others.

So Comcast, for instance, could charge customers who use Netflix extra for using so much bandwidth; AT&T could, in theory, decide to block access to some websites entirely; or Verizon, which owns HuffPost’s parent company Oath, could hypothetically decide wireless customers won’t be charged data when they’re viewing HuffPost content.

 

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(HuffPost’s union is represented by the Writers Guild of America, East, which supports net neutrality and opposed its repeal.)

Immediately after Thursday’s vote, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman pledged to sue to halt the FCC’s actions.

 

In Congress, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) joined with 15 other senators to contest the FCC decision via a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution.

“We will fight the FCC’s decisions in the courts, and we will fight it in the halls of Congress,” Markey said in a statement. “With this CRA, Congress can correct the Commission’s misguided and partisan decision and keep the internet in the hands of the people, not big corporations.”

Large tech companies like Netflix and Twitter also reiterated their support for the now-defunct rules.

In a conference call with reporters Wednesday ahead of the vote, telecom industry executives sought to calm the storm of public opinion.

 

Michael Powell, the head of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and a former FCC chairman, argued that just because it’s now legal for ISPs to discriminate against internet traffic and create fast lanes doesn’t mean they will.

“We can’t live by a principle that just because there isn’t a rule banning something, it doesn’t mean necessarily that something is going to happen,” he said.

While ISPs have previously pledged not to prioritize web traffic in this manner, under the new rules, customers can’t do much but take them at their word. And their word is no ironclad guarantee.

Last week, Comcast quietly altered a net neutrality pledge that had been on its website since 2014, removing a promise that it wouldn’t “prioritize internet traffic or create paid fast lanes” and replacing it with a much more cautious pledge to “not block, throttle, or discriminate against lawful content.” If Comcast decides on a whim to change its pledge again next week, it absolutely can.

In addition to repealing net neutrality, the new FCC rules also strip state and local governments of the power to enact their own laws regulating broadband service.

That provision alarmed a group of nearly five dozen mayors from across the political spectrum, who signed a public letter last week slamming the FCC’s actions as a “stark, inexplicable, and unwarranted attack on the constitutional principles that lie at the heart of our system of government.”

 

A collective of internet activist groups that have united under the banner of “Team Internet” responded to the repeal by calling on Congress to review and overturn the FCC’s action.

“The telecom industry spent millions lobbying and spreading misinformation to pit Internet users against each other and turn net neutrality into a partisan issue,” the group said in an emailed statement to HuffPost. “They have failed.”

“Net neutrality has more public support now than it ever has before. Internet users are educated, outraged, and strategic, and they know that Congress has the power to overturn the FCC vote,” the statement continued. “Lawmakers cannot hide from their constituents on this issue. The Internet has given ordinary people more power than ever before. We’re going to fight tooth and nail to make sure no one takes that power away.”

Do you have information you want to share with HuffPost? Here’s how.

 

 
 

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Republicans want the internet to be expensive to keep the general public uninformed. MAGA! :grr:

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I honestly don't know how I feel about it,  because I always longed for pre internet days, and there was life before the internet, and if prices are ridiculous I'm not going to bother altogether. 

I'll make due. Run for the bus, etc. 

however, I'm thinking a lot of people's livelihoods may be affected.  People who actually use the internet for invaluable purposes . It's going to be interesting how it develops.

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1 hour ago, eroticerotic said:

I honestly don't know how I feel about it,  because I always longed for pre internet days, and there was life before the internet, and if prices are ridiculous I'm not going to bother altogether. 

 

6 hours ago, Hector said:

Republicans want the internet to be expensive to keep the general public uninformed. MAGA! :grr:

 

But none of this is about making the internet more expensive. It's about giving internet providers more power over what you can and cannot access, and how fast you can access such sites. THAT'S the terrifying and infuriating part.

 

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These kind of news are always uncommented and in several years will have lots of impact in our lives!  

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Lets hope that this strange way of censoring doesn't transfer to the EU and Europe in general. Hope the European Commission does its job. 

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1 hour ago, elijah said:

Lets hope that this strange way of censoring doesn't transfer to the EU and Europe in general. Hope the European Commission does its job. 

The UE has much more better laws regarding monopoly or consumers, but to be fair if this ends up being a way to control the content, then the EU will run for it too :lol:

 

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I'm afraid it will happen, pay per package, controlled content, the end of free and accessible internet. It's about money in the first place, but they'll make it about safety, child protection, fighting terrorism, all about the usual excuses. 

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I do consider though that the uncontrolled internet is bringing more problems than anything nowadays. Bullying and hate crimes are rising because of social media, hate speech seems to be free nowdays, and terrorism is being organised through internet too. 

Maybe I am in the wrong, because I don't expect some fascist regime to rise in the future and take me to jail for fapping to gay porn, but I have zero problems with a controlled internet because, frankly, all my interactions are about Madonna and Facebook. So I'm up for it because I'm tired of anonymous people being trolls and causing pain. 

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1 hour ago, karbatal said:

I do consider though that the uncontrolled internet is bringing more problems than anything nowadays. Bullying and hate crimes are rising because of social media, hate speech seems to be free nowdays, and terrorism is being organised through internet too. 

Maybe I am in the wrong, because I don't expect some fascist regime to rise in the future and take me to jail for fapping to gay porn, but I have zero problems with a controlled internet because, frankly, all my interactions are about Madonna and Facebook. So I'm up for it because I'm tired of anonymous people being trolls and causing pain. 

That’s not the point though.

Does Trump promote peace and respect? Not in the slightest so I don’t believe they’re doing it to establish a more peaceful and respectful internet. If anything they will use this move to control the public even more deciding exactly what people should hear and see so there will be more brainwashing and misinformation. Governments will always say they’re changing or doing something to help their citizens in truth it only serves their own agenda. 

Americans wont be happy with this move and like the travel ban it will be appealed and possibly won. Trump can’t always get away with murder.

We only have one thing and that’s the Internet and they’re trying to take even that away from us. 

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6 hours ago, karbatal said:

The UE has much more better laws regarding monopoly or consumers, but to be fair if this ends up being a way to control the content, then the EU will run for it too :lol:

 

All politicians have to do is say a few buzzwords like “terrorists”, “danger” and viola the EU does the same with lots of people supporting the initiative  :lol: 

In the US they sold it as a job creator because this is going to help make internet providers more competitive, even though in the US there’s virtually 0 choice you can make when it comes to who’s your provider :rolleyes: 

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9 minutes ago, Genevieve Vavance said:

will porn be affected??

Technically yes :lol: Your internet provider could block porn if they feel like it

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Trumpeters won’t able to get incest porn, they’re gonna be pissed off! 

 

:lol2:

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I get this sense that we aren't moving forward  with anything lately. We are stuck, there's no leadership. that we are just going from one extreme to the other.

in this case we were given the internet without guidelines now it's being restricted with what seems to be set guidelines not ones based on an all encompassing assessment . 

I dont know guys and gals. ...... 🤷🏻‍♂️

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13 hours ago, ULIZOS said:
14 hours ago, Genevieve Vavance said:

will porn be affected??

Technically yes :lol: Your internet provider could block porn if they feel like it

tumblr_nd2p1tmHCV1r9indno1_250.gif

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The European Commission stated yesterday that the EU opposes to this and that access to a free Internet is a citizen right. 

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12 hours ago, eroticerotic said:

I get this sense that we aren't moving forward  with anything lately. We are stuck, there's no leadership. that we are just going from one extreme to the other.

in this case we were given the internet without guidelines now it's being restricted with what seems to be set guidelines not ones based on an all encompassing assessment . 

I dont know guys and gals. ...... 🤷🏻‍♂️

Truth is that the world goes so fast that EVERYONE is improvising.  From politicians to CEOs to businesses like music or cinema... Even Madonna,  who is a control freak,  is improvising nowadays ways to showcase her music :lol:

 

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38 minutes ago, promise to try said:

europe, always copying the worse things... crap

Sorry?  The EU has positioned itself AGAINST this. 

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13 minutes ago, karbatal said:

Sorry?  The EU has positioned itself AGAINST this. 

Exactly. Seems like they are the only sane here, but they still get bashed... Is it a trend? Hate the hate that EU is getting while other horrible dictators get praised.

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And they call Russia a censoring dictatorship :lmao: 

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1 hour ago, Nessie said:

And they call Russia a censoring dictatorship :lmao: 

As well they should. As far as the internet goes, Russia outright bans websites critical of its government and where protest organization takes places, has banned VPNs, makes its telecom companies retain users' private information and metadata for vastly longer periods of time than the Western norm to be viewed at the government's leisure, and is in the process of setting up a Chinese-style firewall (with the help of Chinese telecom companies to develop the necessary infrastructure for it). 

The U.S. is a ways away from any of those things, as much as the wannabe oligarchs in power now lust for all of them.

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20 minutes ago, LSD said:

As well they should. As far as the internet goes, Russia outright bans websites critical of its government and where protest organization takes places, has banned VPNs, makes its telecom companies retain users' private information and metadata for vastly longer periods of time than the Western norm to be viewed at the government's leisure, and is in the process of setting up a Chinese-style firewall (with the help of Chinese telecom companies to develop the necessary infrastructure for it). 

The U.S. is a ways away from any of those things, as much as the wannabe oligarchs in power now lust for all of them.

True.  Same with China.  It is frightening the amount of control their governments have over what the public can access and know.  

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