News Release

Killing Net Neutrality: “Regulatory Capture by Commercial Interests”

Bill Moyers and Michael Winship write: “Trump’s FCC Wants to Kill a Free and Open Internet.

“VICTOR PICKARD, vpickard at asc.upenn.edu, @VWPickard
Pickard is associate professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. He is author of the book America’s Battle for Media Democracy: The Triumph of Corporate Libertarianism and the Future of Media Reform. He also recently wrote the piece “The Misinformation Society” and was interviewed about net neutrality by Jacobin, ”

Net Neutrality Is Just the Beginning.”He said today: “Today’s FCC decision to kill net neutrality marks the triumph of a deeply undemocratic agenda. By allowing internet service providers to slow down or block content, charge discriminatory prices, and create a tiered internet of fast and slow lanes, the FCC has privileged corporate power over democracy. The FCC’s decision will hurt everyone except large cable and telecommunication companies like Comcast and Verizon. Throughout the process, Chairman Pai shirked his duty to protect the public interest by ignoring the will of the American people to preserve an open internet. Polls show that even a majority of Republicans support net neutrality, yet Chairman Pai refused to consider any alternative to his ideological mission. He even refused to investigate proven irregularities in the process such as fraudulent comments. This decision is consistent with much of the FCC’s recent behavior, which demonstrates a text book example of regulatory capture by commercial interests. Pai has displayed an utter disregard toward all voices other than those he values most: the very industries the FCC purportedly regulates. This isn’t deregulation; it is reregulation by giving internet service monopolies the power to censor online content and limit our access to the internet. History will not look kindly on this FCC.”

JOSEPH TORRES, MARY ALICE CRIM, CRAIG AARON, via Tim Karr, tkarr at freepress.net, @freepress
Torres is senior adviser for government and external affairs for Free Press and just appeared on “Democracy Now.” Mary Alice Crim is the Free Press Action Fund’s field director. Aaron is president and CEO of the group. He said today: “Ajit Pai’s bad ideas and worse actions have sparked unprecedented public awareness of net neutrality and created a new generation of internet-freedom activists. People who never before joined a protest are taking to the streets in red states and blue states, big cities and small towns. They’re discussing net neutrality in Teen Vogue, NASCAR fan forums, Black Lives Matter meetings and church on Sunday. Eighty-three percent of Americans support real net neutrality and oppose this plan. The rest are either lobbyists or just haven’t yet realized that Ajit Pai is lying to them.”