Saturday, April 16, 2016

Real Democrats Don't Help The Republicans Kill Net Neutrality


Yesterday, by a margin of 241-173, the House passed an innocuously-named bill by Illinois Republican Adam Kinzinger, the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act (H.R. 2666). President Obama had already declared he will veto it if it ever gets to his desk and 173 Democrats voted against it. All 236 Republicans plus 5 Democratic corporate whores who crossed the aisle for this one, backed it. First the bad Democrats:
Jim Costa (Blue Dog-CA)
Scott Peters (New Dem-CA)
Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)
Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ)
Albio Sires (NJ)
The purpose of Kinzinger's bill is to strip the Federal Communications Commission of consumer protection powers, always something the Republicans, Blue Dogs and New Dems are eager to do, especially as it pertains to destroying net neutrality. The bill is meant to prohibit them from regulating broadband pricing under its net neutrality rules. Wednesday, Erik Stallman from the Center for Democracy and Technology explained the dangers consumer advocacy groups see in the legislation. "This bill," he wrote, "would strip the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of authority to review certain practices of broadband providers related to their customers’ privacy. Specifically, the FCC would have no power to inquire into broadband providers’ offers of discounts or other incentives in exchange for the ability to use or disclose customers’ personal information. What does rate regulation have to do with consumer privacy? The need to even ask that question speaks to the main defect in this legislation, which threatens the FCC’s ability to review pay-for-privacy arrangements and to enforce essential net neutrality protections like the no-blocking rule. The bill’s title notwithstanding, it has much less to do with preventing the FCC from setting rates for broadband service than with preventing the FCC from investigating practices that may undermine the open internet rules... [A] broad coalition of net neutrality advocates sent a letter opposing the bill on a number of grounds.

Eloy Delgado is a school teacher in Northern New Jersey and he's running for the seat held by one of Big Telecomms key puppets in Congress. Every New Jersey Democrat voted against the bill except the incumbent who Delgado is running against, Albio Sires, who has accepted tens of thousands of dollars from Verizon, Comcast, AT&T and other bad players in the battle over new neutrality. "This isn't a rich district," he told me this morning. "My students and the people who live in Elizabeth, Union City, Hoboken, West New York, Newark, Bayonne, Jersey City don't need a corporate takeover of the internet. Net neutrality works best for these communities and I was disappointed to see that Congressman Sires was the only New Jersey Democrat who voted with the Republicans on this. I stand with consumers and with President Obama, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Frank Pallone, Bill Pascrell, Bonnie Watson Coleman and Donald Payne on this one. What I don't like about this is that it could be used to prevent the FCC from doing things like enforcing agreements making broadband more affordable for low-income families. The Republican bill goes way too far beyond its stated intent and weakens the FCC’s ability to check monopoly rates and it restricts their ability to respond to consumer complaints with any kind of enforcement. I believe in a free Internet that supports New Jersey's small businesses, students, entrepreneurs, and minority communities. When people vote for me they should rest assured that they're voting for someone who feels passionately that our laws must reflect this principle and guarantee an open and free flow of information for all users, not just for wealthy corporations."

If you'd like to help guarantee that there are more net neutrality advocates like Eloy Delgado, not fewer, please consider making a contribution to him through the thermometer:
Goal Thermometer

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At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what if Obama would veto this bill? Just return it next Congress, for even if Hillary is the Prez, she'd sign that bill.


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