How Net Neutrality Can Still Win!

"Ajit Pai is going to lose", wrote Evan Greer over at Fight for the Future just before the FCC voted to gut net neutrality...

"The organizations behind and Team Internet (Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, and Free Press Action Fund) are announcing a massive Internet-wide campaign to demand that our elected officials in Congress use a Resolution of Disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the FCC's illegitimate rulemaking.

Now, the Congressional Review Act was put into place by Congress - by Republicans in Congress specifically - to make it possible for Congress to overturn excessive regulations as it were from executive branch agencies.

The EPA is given a broad mandate, for example, "you can deal with pollution". So the EPA decides, "well we're gonna decide that carbon dioxide is part of pollution." This hadn't been part of the law, but the EPA gets to make the rules because that's what the law says - the EPA makes the rules. So the EPA makes that rule.

At that point Congress could, under the congressional oversight law - the Congressional Review Act, the CRA- Congress could come in and say, "now, we didn't really mean carbon dioxide, we were just talking about soot" and they can actually change the rules that have been put into place by regulatory agencies.

So one of those regulatory agencies is the FCC and the FCC is fixing, in fact just voted, to gut net neutrality protections. Ajit Pai, a former Verizon lawyer, is the head of the FCC. There's three men who are Republicans on the FCC and two women who are Democrats. The two women who are Democrats are saying we need a free and open Internet, the three men who are Republicans are saying we need to turn the internet over to a half a dozen giant corporations so that they can make huge profits that they will recycle back to the Republican Party.

I got an email via the Sanders Institute from Robert Reich and Robert Reich says, if and when this happens it would:

"1. Drive up prices for internet service. Broadband providers could charge customers higher rates to access certain sites, or raise rates for internet companies to reach consumers faster speeds. Either way, these prices hikes would be passed along to you and me.

"2. Give corporate executives free reign to slow down and censor news or websites that don't match their political agenda, or give preference to their own content - for any reason at all."

This would be executives in the internet service business, and...

"3. Stifle innovation. Cable companies could severely hurt their competitors by blocking certain apps or online services. Small businesses who can't afford to pay higher rates could be squeezed out altogether."

But if Congress passes a Resolution of Disapproval under the Congressional Review Act they can force the FCC, or basically override the FCC's decision on net neutrality. This would be a first step.

Then the second step would be to actually pass a law saying that the internet in the United States is considered a public utility and is regulated under title II of the Communications Act of 1934 which is what Tom Wheeler put into place back in 2015 and is basically how the internet had been operating right up until 2015.

But now you've got these big multi-billion dollar corporations that are coming in and saying,"no, we want our piece of this."

It's pretty incredible.


Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 5 years 23 weeks ago


America is your creed!

Will god bless yer'?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 5 years 23 weeks ago

LA Times July 26, 2016 Front page article about Verizon buying Yahool

"Verizon extends reach as it buys Yahoo. -- In $4.8 billion deal, the telecom giant boosts its stake in digital media and advertising"

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 23 weeks ago

Undoubtedly greed plays a large role in the gutting of net neutrality, but don't underestimate control of the message motives. Just ask Rupert Murdoch, he has the best of both worlds with his Foxaganda...huge profit from a relentless evil message.

The vast majority of the younger generation has distanced itself from the Kochpublican Party and most young people I know don't watch network news or listen to right-wing radio. The Fascists know this and want to shut off the only remaining hole in their attempt to propagandize the populous. That would be social media. Welcome to a Fascist State.

I wonder how far the end of net neutrality will drop us down the freedom of the press list...currently 47th in the world and now perhaps all the way down to where Russia is ranked..148 out of 180 total nations...yep right down there with Crooked Donny's pal.

Kiss the First Amendment goodbye! The CDC surely knows what time it is...1930's Germany.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 years 23 weeks ago

The Republican Party is fast becoming an unpopular brand, largely because its core constituency is a dying breed of out-of-touch, old, rich, white guys brainwashed by wall-to-wall corporate programming blaring nonstop from their last-century media devices: TV and radio. So naturally, their desperate fascist leaders are scrambling to catch up with the times, which to them means -- of COOOURSE! -- to infect the internet with the same propaganda techniques that had won them so much wealth and power back in the glory days of the analog world.

See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the [varnished] truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.” --George W. Bush, the "decider."

Most of the other demographics, especially the young and educated, are migrating to the Democratic Party.

Come the midterms, they should remember: which party is trying to take away their healthcare; which party is deregulating industries to poison our air, land, water, and food; which party ensures low wages and low benefits; which party is telling Wall Street banksters that it's okay again to rip off consumers; which party is lavishing tax cuts on the rich by taking it out of the hide of middle-class workers and the poor and by exploding the deficit, impoverishing future generations of workers who must pay it back; which party is trying to turn the internet into a private cash cow for their wealthy donors and a loudspeaker for their endless lies.

In other words, which one is the party of super-rich predators and which one is the party of everyone else, their prey?

They should remember...

Legend 5 years 23 weeks ago
Legend 5 years 23 weeks ago
Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 23 weeks ago

I woke up this morning and this post proves Al Gores invention is still up and running.

Merry Christmas

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 23 weeks ago

Rick Steves, Thanks, I just did.

evaAM's picture
evaAM 5 years 23 weeks ago

I am trying to find the app, Thom recommended to use to see how our ISP will block/slow content. It was mention in the show on December 21, I think.

kourtneyc's picture
kourtneyc 5 years 22 weeks ago

Most of the other demographics, especially the young and educated, are migrating to the Democratic Party.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Hartmann combines a remarkable piece of historical research with a brilliant literary style to tell the grand story of corporate corruption and its consequences for society with the force and readability of a great novel."
David C. Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World and Agenda for A New Economy
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom is a national treasure. Read him, embrace him, learn from him, and follow him as we all work for social change."
Robert Greenwald, political activist and founder and president of Brave New Films
From Screwed:
"Once again, Thom Hartmann hits the bull’s eye with a much needed exposé of the so-called ‘free market.’ Anyone concerned about the future of our nation needs to read Screwed now."
Michael Toms, Founding President, New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network and author of A Time For Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy