USA regulator unveils plan to end 'net neutrality'


The ACLU has already released a statement opposing the FCC and Chairman Pai's plan and ACLU senior policy analyst Jay Stanley said, "Internet rights are civil rights".

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is following through on his pledge to repeal 2015 regulations created to ensure that internet service providers treat all online content and apps equally. FCC chairman Ajit Pai put forward the proposal, which will be taken up in December 14 vote, as a signature piece of his deregulation agenda. "Instead, the FCC would simply require Internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that's best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate".

Pai said he wants to return oversight of the internet to the FTC, which is the main consumer protection regulator and privacy watchdog in the US. Meanwhile, Donald Trump expressed his opposition to net neutrality in 2014 before the regulations were even implemented, calling it a "power grab" by Obama.

The Internet Association had also said that the repeal will actually harm investment in the tech industry as "in a world without net neutrality protections, startups would face discrimination from ISP owned or preferred content that's granted a speed advantage through paid prioritization". However, the new rules are highly expected to pass since Pai's party is controlling three of the Commission's five seats. As a commissioner, Pai voted against the Obama-supported rules in 2015 when Democrat Tom Wheeler was chairman.

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"The most-hated and worst-rated companies will be free to block, throttle and discriminate against your speech on the internet if Trump's FCC chairman gets his way", Wood said. The FCC's new plan, which goes by the dubious name "Restoring Internet Freedom Order", would give ISPs like AT&T and Comcast complete control over what websites and services their users can access, and whether or not users would have to pay higher rates to access certain sites.

NCTA-the Internet & Television Association, a trade group with members including top USA cable provider Comcast and No. 2 Charter Communications Inc., said it welcomed Pai's proposal. They say the regulations can undermine investment in broadband and introduced uncertainty about what were acceptable business practices.

The Internet Association, a trade group with members including Netflix, Facebook, Google and Inc., said "This proposal undoes almost two decades of bipartisan agreement on baseline net neutrality principles that protect Americans' ability to access the entire internet".

"The administration is moving to destroy the openness and dynamism of the internet", Pelosi said in an email message. Such disclosure will make it easier for another agency, the Federal Trade Commission, to act against internet service providers that fail to disclose such conduct to consumers, Pai said.