Net Neutrality Activists Will Sue to Block Net Neutrality’s Repeal

Demonstrators protest a plan by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to repeal net neutrality outside a Verizon store on December 7, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Patrick Gorski/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will publish its net neutrality order repeal on Thursday, which will allow activists to sue the agency to attempt to block the agency’s “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” from taking effect.

The FCC’s “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” passed in December and repealed the agency’s net neutrality order. The order reclassified the Internet as an “information service,” compared to the agency’s 2015 net neutrality order, which regulated the Internet as a public monopoly. Net neutrality proponents argued that the FCC needs net neutrality to prevent ISPs from unfairly blocking, throttling, or preferring some content, while conservatives argued that net neutrality would diminish the freedom of the Internet.

The FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order and Breitbart News’s Allum Bokhari argued that, under net neutrality, content providers such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter have censored the Internet, stifled conservative and alternative voices, and served as a greater threat to free speech compared to ISPs.

Congressional Democrats will have up to 60 legislative days to attempt to block the FCC’s net neutrality repeal using the Congressional Review Act. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) claimed in January that he has a 50-vote majority in the Senate to pass such a repeal through Congress’ upper chamber. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) also said that she supports keeping the agency’s 2015 net neutrality rules.

Annie Clark, Collins’ spokeswoman, told The Hill, “Senator Collins does not support the FCC’s recent decision to repeal net neutrality rules, and she will support Senator Markey’s legislation that would overturn the FCC’s vote.”

Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, said that they will refile their lawsuit against the FCC “once the final rule is published. Either way, our coalition of AGs is taking the FCC to court to challenge its illegal rollback of net neutrality.”

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