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AG Madigan will appeal FCC repeal of net neutrality rules

Thursday, Dec 14, 2017

* AG’s office…

Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that she, along with other state attorneys general, will appeal the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) action to eliminate existing net neutrality rules that prohibit internet service providers (ISPs) from discriminating among consumers and content providers.

The FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which was approved today in a 3-2 vote over the objections of Madigan and attorneys general from around the country, eliminates existing prohibitions that allow people to have sole discretion over their internet usage. As a result of today’s vote, internet service providers will be allowed to interfere with customers’ use of the internet by blocking or slowing down access to content. Providers will now be able to favor their own content over third-party sites by slowing down access, or charging content providers for priority treatment or access to an internet ‘fast lane.’

“Today’s Commission vote undermines the public interest by putting our free and open internet at risk,” Madigan said. “In taking this action, the Commission disregarded the overwhelming view of the public and ignored the legal precedent upholding the existing net neutrality rules.”

Earlier this week, the Attorney General urged the FCC to delay its vote in light of widespread reports that millions of comments received by the FCC in the current rule-making process were submitted under fraudulent or stolen identities. Madigan also called upon the FBI to investigate the sources of the fraudulent comments to uncover how they were submitted and to require the FCC to protect the reliability of its public comment system.

Madigan also joined a coalition of 17 other state attorneys general urging the FCC to delay its vote, stressing the importance to the rulemaking process of public participation. The attorneys general encouraged the FCC to cooperate with investigations by law enforcement agencies.

In July, Madigan led a coalition of 14 attorneys general in submitting comments to the FCC opposing the proposed rollback of the critical net neutrality protections. Madigan argued that the FCC must ensure open access to the internet and the continued equal access to all content providers, which can only be upheld through the principles of an open internet or net neutrality.

* The CWA lays it out pretty well…

The Communications Workers of America opposes the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to abolish rules that have helped maintain a free and open Internet for all Americans.

“By eliminating the bright-line rules first introduced in 2005 and codified by subsequent Commission votes, the FCC today has eliminated essential safeguards that ensure fair Internet access to all users.

“A new survey by the University of Maryland showed that 83 percent of Americans — including 75 percent of Republican respondents — reject the FCC plan on net neutrality that will allow some companies to speed up some websites, and slow down or block others.

“We need clear, enforceable rules to protect a free and open Internet, with FCC authority to enforce any violations. Instead, the Republican majority’s plan seems to rely on a “trust me” approach that will be ineffective and meaningless.

“The FCC is turning enforcement of Internet freedom over to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Because the FTC lacks authority over broadband providers that are also common carriers, pending the outcome of a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, there is no agency at this time with authority to protect an open Internet from abusive practices by cable or telecom companies.

“The FCC’s action also eliminates its jurisdiction over mobile broadband, an increasingly important way that people, particularly low-income consumers, access the Internet, and preempts critical state authority over broadband networks.

“The three bright-line, common sense rules of no blocking, no throttling, and no favorable treatment to some websites and applications over others have worked to protect a free and open Internet. It is unfortunate that Chairman Pai and the Republican majority have chosen to move in the wrong direction, jeopardizing the technology that millions of Americans rely on.”

…Adding… JB Pritzker…

“Net neutrality is vital to free expression, online innovation, and public safety and today’s vote is a direct attack on those values,” said JB Pritzker. “For the past decade, I’ve worked to make our state a hub for technology innovation, helping to create thousands of good-paying jobs in Illinois. Today’s vote jeopardizes that work and undermines not just the tech community, but all of our families who rely on an open and free internet. We need a leader in Springfield who will protect Illinois from Donald Trump’s FCC, not stay silent as he attacks the jobs, entrepreneurship, and basic democratic principles that net neutrality fosters. I have a record of being that leader and I promise to bring that passion to the governor’s office.”

…Adding… Jesse Ruiz…

The FCC’s vote to dismantle net neutrality will hand over our online freedom and privacy to a handful of giant, greedy corporations, and it must not be allowed to stand.

When Donald Trump chose Ajit Pai – a former Verizon executive – as the FCC chair, he was putting a fox in charge of the henhouse. We cannot let Donald Trump and his kleptocratic administration of corporate shills and Goldman Sachs refugees destroy this crucial platform for the free, democratic exchange of ideas.

This wrongheaded decision will have enormous consequences for all of us. Students will lose access to educational materials, and small businesses and start-ups won’t be able to reach their customers – all while big telecommunications companies rake in record profits.

This has been a shady process from the start. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has found that almost 2 million fake comments were sent to the FCC supporting rollback of the Obama Administration’s net neutrality rules, which were designed to protect our equal access to the internet. Even worse, those fake comments were submitted under the names of real people, falsely using their identities without their consent.

I commend Attorney General Lisa Madigan for joining the multi-state lawsuit challenging today’s action, so we can protect Illinois consumers and fight back against this threat to our online freedom.

…Adding… Pat Quinn…

“The F.C.C.’s vote today to repeal net neutrality rules on a party-line vote is a blow to consumers everywhere. Today’s decision will allow broadband providers to decide what information people can access on the internet and how they are allowed to communicate with one another online.

“The internet is how families stay in touch with one another, how job searchers find opportunities, and how students learn about the world around them. Allowing big corporations to censor content they don’t want you to see or charge fees to access certain information hurts everyone in Illinois. I applaud Attorney General Lisa Madigan for her decision to appeal the F.C.C.’s action.”

…Adding… Sen. Kwame Raoul…

3 years ago, President Obama stated that “an open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life.” Today’s ruling by Donald Trump’s FCC prioritized big corporations over every day Americans and will send shock waves throughout the American economy.

Without net neutrality internet service providers (ISPs) will be free to jack up prices, block content and slow down the internet for sites that they don’t want consumers to visit. This is wrong.

I stand with Attorney General Madigan and attorney generals from across the country who are appealing the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) action to eliminate existing net neutrality rules that prohibit internet service providers (ISPs) from discriminating among consumers and content providers.

…Adding… Sen. Daniel Biss…

“I am deeply disappointed by today’s vote by the FCC to repeal net neutrality laws. This is another example of how Donald Trump’s administration is prioritizing corporate profits over middle-class families and working people. The Internet should be free and open to all people and we should hold internet providers accountable to that standard. Our state regulations must align with that standard. That’s why I will use our state’s purchasing power to lead the fight for net neutrality in Illinois when I’m governor.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - The Crane - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 2:47 pm:

    Go get ‘em Lisa! This would be an interesting topic for an AG race debate.

  2. - Amalia - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 2:50 pm:

    This decision today is not freedom. it is restriction. what happens to sources like CapFax? Isolation and dim light, this is not freedom.

  3. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 2:58 pm:

    It took a while, but Verizon’s old lawyer (Pai) finally paid off for them. I’m sure there’s a corner office waiting when he leaves public service.

  4. - Nick Name - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 3:02 pm:

    God bless AG Madigan.

  5. - Sue - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 3:21 pm:

    Ah the resistance lives on.

  6. - Emanuel Can’t - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 3:24 pm:

    Is this the same AG that sued yo overturn the travel ban, which the US Suoreme Court ultimately found constitutional? Who chases down national issues followed by overblown press releases? The same AG who never saw a case of public corruption here in Illinois? Got it.

  7. - GOP Truth Squad - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 3:25 pm:

    Someone tell Ruiz that Obama originally appointed Pai.Thomas

  8. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 3:29 pm:

    ====Someone tell Ruiz that Obama originally appointed Pai.Thomas

    He was a Republican appointee that McConnell suggested. 3 Members are appointed from the President’s party and 2 from the other party. Pai was the other party’s appointment when first appointed.

    But Obama…is really just the national Madigan!

  9. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 3:30 pm:

    Oddlly, the misunderstanding of the AG’s office being a prosecutor is perfectly illustrated here. Mostly, the AG’s job is being the attorney for the state and then consumer protection. This is consumer protection.

  10. - Hmm - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 3:34 pm:

    Oddly enough, since Al Gore invented the Internet more than twenty years ago, the USA functioned without “net neutrality” regulations until two or three years ago. The lawsuit may be a loser.

    We will have to see how this plays out.

  11. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 3:40 pm:

    Well as Obama said elections have consequences. I am getting tired of government by lawsuits
    Also has there ever existed a corporation in a progressive mind that is not huge a gready?

  12. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 3:42 pm:

    Good. Go get ‘em

  13. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 3:45 pm:

    –Is this the same AG that sued yo overturn the travel ban, which the US Suoreme Court ultimately found constitutional? –

    Your Jump-to-Conclusions Mat is inaccurate.

    The third attempt at a travel was allowed to go into effect while it is challenged in lower courts.

    The challenges on their merits have not reached the Supremes. Hence, no ruling on constitutionality.

  14. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 4:08 pm:

    Quite true, Word, except, SCOTUS also allowed the travel ban to be enforced while the case is pending, unlike the lower courts. So for the time being, Trump has a partial win.

  15. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 4:26 pm:

    Get off the travel ban or you’ll be banned. Move along. Final warning.

  16. - Moist von Lipwig - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 4:32 pm:

    AP style shifted to “internet” over “Internet” in 2016. I will never get used to it.

  17. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 4:44 pm:

    “Mostly, the AG’s job is being the attorney for the state and then consumer protection. This is consumer protection.”

    Absolutely! Seems like the Pritzker and Ruiz statements are smack in the middle of those duties.

  18. - Flapdoodle - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 4:46 pm:

    ArchPundit at 3:30 is correct about this being consumer protection. Enabling internet carriers to impose restrictions on access speed and content availability is a terrible decision. Hope the state AGs are successful.

  19. - Responsa - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 5:04 pm:

    Returning the internet to where it was in 2015 is causing people to lose their… ss tuff? The average person who uses the internet every day could not tell you what “net neutrality” is, why it was “needed”, and/or how reversing it will, as some predict, end the world as we know it. Such drama.

  20. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 5:08 pm:

    –The average person who uses the internet every day could not tell you..–

    It must be a burden to speak for the masses, as you often do. On the other hand, I guess it adds credibility to your own opinion, in some minds.

  21. - CapnCrunch - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 5:16 pm:

    “A new survey by the University of Maryland showed that 83 percent of Americans — including 75 percent of Republican respondents — reject the FCC plan on net neutrality that will allow some companies to speed up some websites, and slow down or block others.”

    Internet Service Providers like Comcast have been providing ‘fast lanes’ to Netflix, Google and other websites for sometime. If they didn’t you wouldn’t be able to watch movies and videos without pauses in them.

  22. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 5:19 pm:

    ===If they didn’t you wouldn’t be able to watch movies and videos without pauses in them===

    It comes into my house via the same cable they use for my TV.

  23. - Anon Downstate - Thursday, Dec 14, 17 @ 5:36 pm:

    Disclaimer: I have absolutely NO USE for Comcast.

    All that being said, “Net Neutrality” as defined has it’s own set of really serious issues and complications that aren’t much of an improvement.

    IMO, what “Net Neutrality” is all about is the ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) vrs. the advertisers/social media players. It’s all about who is going to be anointed the Internet ‘top dog’ by the government.

    IMO, the feds should appoint ‘nobody’ as ‘top dog’ over the Internet. What the government should do (as an absolute rule) is block any more acquisitions by any of the players with business revenues in excess of $4 billion dollars a year. If any acquisition will result in a business entity with gross revenues greater than $4 billion a year, can’t happen.

    That is what needs to happen - otherwise we are just playing the M&A business version of “Wack a Mole” and guaranteeing stagnation in the development of the Internet. No matter what we do.

    Realize, what all these players want isn’t so much of a two (or more) tiered Internet, it’s all about getting more and more information about their users. That’s where the real money is - it’s not in providing fast/slow lanes on the Internet. All that does is anger your customers, and legions of angry customers are extremely creative, and can quickly turn into a very volatile political force.

    What you are seeing is the newest generation of an older fight (previously know as ‘content providers’ vrs. ‘TV/Cable networks’). Now it’s ISP’s (Comcast, TW, Charter, etc.) vrs. Advertising/social media (Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc.).

    Different players, same basic fight.

    Real Questions are: Who is going to end up being the lead dog in the Internet & end up making most of the money.

    “When they say it’s not about the money, it’s ALWAYS about the money”.

  24. - Rabid - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 5:39 am:

    Because madigan believes in the first amendment to the US constitution

  25. - Deepthroat - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 9:04 am:

    If Madigan gave a wit about anything in her purported lawsuit rather than trying to capitalize on party politics then she would have long ago sued Google and Facebook on how they screen news and information to their users - search results modified by who paying and what Google and Facebook wants to showcase. However Google and Facebook are on the Dem team and therefore can touch them.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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