The vote to repeal net neutrality is one that's mired in shadiness and controversy.
At the head of it all is Ajit Pai, former lawyer for Verizon. Somehow, because American politics is very, very stupid, Pai was then appointed chairman to the FCC. In his time as chair he's showed favoritism towards his former company and even joked, himself, about being a "puppet" for the telecom giant.
Despite the fact that nearly every major tech company, web developer, engineer, and private citizen who knows what net neutrality is, is in favor of it, Pai kept shilling the idea that repealing net neutrality would promote business and help stimulate the economy. In reality, however, the only companies that would benefit from repealing net neutrality would be internet service providers: the very companies Pai was appointed head of the FCC to protect American citizens from.
In order to build a faux sense of support from everyday citizens for repealing net neutrality, it turns out that someone may have resorted to forging letters from dead citizens. Something that allegedly happened with Mackenzie Austin's mother's name, who passed away in March of 2016.
Hey, @AjitPaiFCC, today my mom would have turned 71. But she didn't. Because she died in March of 2016. Can you please take the time to explain to me how she made three separate comments in support of ending #NetNeutrality more than a year after she died?— Mackenzie Astin (@MackenzieAstin) December 15, 2017
cc: @SeanAstin pic.twitter.com/VtdLaB0eGp
She posted the information online, if you look at the individual letters, you'll notice they even have different addresses.
This Patty Duke lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.
But the same Patty Duke is also a resident of Fawn Grove, Pennsylvania.
Unfortunately, Patty Duke wasn't the only citizen's name that was used to help repeal net neutrality in this way. It turns out millions of submissions were multiple entries, and a lot of people were either dead or never put their names on the list in the first place.
Although Ajit Pai, Brendan Carr, and Michael O'Reilly all voted in favor of the net neutrality repeal, the backlash has been swift, with many U.S. political leaders vowing to not allow the vote to pass in congress.
The NY Attorney general, for example, announced that it will sue the FCC, deeming its attempt to roll back net neutrality as illegal.
Eric T. Schneiderman and his team are leading the charge.
Schneiderman also released a tool that allows people to check and see if their identity may have been falsely used to help repeal net neutrality. If enough instances of this occurred, especially with dead U.S. citizens, there could be a strong case for his legal team to present that people engaged in some murky business.
There are still a large number of state representatives who are listening to their citizens and are mounting their own campaigns to protect net neutrality at all costs.
I am disgusted that @AjitPaiFCC and the FCC have defied overwhelming public opposition and upended the level playing field so integral to the success of our internet – undercutting the accessibility and spirit that have made it a force for innovation and economic growth.— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) December 14, 2017
One of the politicians who supports the net neutrality repeal is Senator Ted Cruz. Of course, he throws Obama in there, seemingly to make people think anything associated with Obama is bad.
I commend @AjitPaiFCC & the FCC for repealing these oppressive Obama-era regulations and restoring freedom to the internet. The message for gov regulators & Congress should be simple- the internet should be free of taxation, censorship, & regulation. -> https://t.co/hkrVze8Kvq— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) December 14, 2017
For the most part, though, active government leaders are fighting to keep net neutrality alive for the people.
The @FCC just voted to repeal #NetNeutrality, a move that attacks freedom of speech for the millions of people who use the internet every single day. This is outrageous, and I’ll be joining @SenMarkey’s effort to reverse this horrible decision. https://t.co/QsgwqnNPfr— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) December 14, 2017
Now, broadband companies have the legal power, technical capability, and business incentive to block content from competitors and slow video-streaming services from rivals.— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) December 14, 2017
In case you want to know why repealing net neutrality is so bad, check out this video which explains what could go very wrong if it is, indeed, repealed.
What do you think?