In a move most of us have been dreading for months, the Federal Communications Commission voted yesterday to end net neutrality.
The FCC voted 3 to 2 to repeal laws that guarantee a free and open internet, a move the Commission’s chairman Ajit Pai jhas been spearheading for over a year now.
The two democrats on the FCC slated the outcome of the vote.
“I dissent because I am among the millions outraged, outraged because the FCC pulls its own teeth, abdicating responsibility to protect the nation’s broadband consumers,” FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn said.
“As a result of today’s misguided actions, our broadband providers will get extraordinary new powers,” FCC member Jessica Rosenworcel said. She also called the entire process leading up to the vote “corrupt”.
But neither Clyburn and Rosenworcel, nor the massive protests that took place outside Congress yesterday are likely to have any effect on Pai, who has dismissed concerns that ending net neutrality would kill the internet “outlandish”.
According to Pai, the FCC has restored “the light-touch framework that has governed the internet for much of its existence.” Mind you, this is a guy who seems to think that people are mostly worried they won’t be able to instagram their food and post pictures of puppies online.
Net neutrality advocates, on the other hand, have argued that removing Obama-era protections will cede a hell of a lot of power to ISPs and massive media companies, and this will affect consumers on a global scale.
There’s a glimmer of hope in all this; the Guardian reports that the FCC is likely to face a legal challenge to this move, as some of the internet’s biggest companies are not pleased about it, including Netflix, Spotify, Wikipedia, Pintrest and Pornhub.
A quick way to get caught up on the net neutrality fight is to head on over to battleforthenet.com.