Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

don't let big cable kill net neutrality

Net neutrality advocates are calling out Republican lawmakers for putting forth "deceptive" legislation that would limit federal regulation of Internet companies. (Graphic: Fight for the Future/Facebook)

'Same BS From Big Cable Funded Politicians': Alarm Bells Over 'Deceptive' GOP Bills Designed to Destroy Net Neutrality

Republicans, say critics, are "intentionally trying to confuse the public... by pushing weaksauce legislation that would undermine the open Internet while claiming to save it."

Jessica Corbett

Internet defenders are calling "bullshit" on Republican lawmakers pushing "deceptive" legislation that would prevent strong regulation of the very telecom companies that stand to profit most if the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) gutting of net neutrality protections is allowed to stand.

"All three of the lawmakers behind these bills essentially rubber stamped [FCC Chairman] Ajit Pai's repeal of net neutrality; that should tell you everything you need to know about their true intentions."
—Evan Green, Fight for the Future

Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) has introduced a bill that claims its aim is "to amend Title I of the Communications Act of 1934 to provide for internet openness, and for other purposes," and Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Greg Walden (R-Ore.) have announced plans to put forth similar proposals.

Although the drafts of their bills are not yet available, activists and reporters are taking cues from their voting records and public statements, including what they said during a House Communications and Technology subcommittee hearing on Thursday.

Free Press general counsel Matt Wood told Gizmodo that "despite what the new House minority claims, none of these bills would safeguard net neutrality or internet users' rights." Instead, he warned, they would "undermine the FCC's ability to protect people online by removing broadband and wireless companies from nearly all agency oversight."

"This is just more of the same BS from Big Cable funded politicians," declared Fight for the Future's Evan Greer. "They're intentionally trying to confuse the public and derail real efforts to restore net neutrality by pushing weaksauce legislation that would undermine the open Internet while claiming to save it."

"We've been tracking these bad faith efforts to push legislation backed by telecom lobbyists for years, and there's no way people are going to fall for it," she added. "All three of the lawmakers behind these bills essentially rubber stamped [FCC Chairman] Ajit Pai's repeal of net neutrality; that should tell you everything you need to know about their true intentions."

Members of the Battle for the Net coalition—which includes Free Press Action, Fight for the Future, and Demand Progress—turned to Twitter to encourage the public to pressure elected officials to oppose the measures.

The legislative tricks by Republicans come as net neutrality defenders continue to fight in court to reverse the GOP-controlled FCC's repeal and call on members of Congress to impose nationwide restrictions on Internet service providers (ISPs) to prevent them from prioritizing certain content.

"We need strong legislation that reinstates the FCC rules that never should have been repealed, and doesn't leave loopholes for Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T to scam us and control what we see online," said Greer.

While net neutrality advocates want legislation to safeguard consumer protections, the bills currently being touted by House Republicans likely pose an even greater threat to the rights of Internet users than the FCC's rollback in December of 2017. As Gizmodo's Dell Cameron outlined:

The idea of Congress passing an in-name-only "net neutrality" law worries many of the policy's chief supporters. By the time such a bill navigates its way to a vote, it's unlikely to resemble anything close to the 2015 Open Internet Order, which first established federal net neutrality regulations. To be clear: Republicans are introducing these bills not for the purpose of restoring the protections offered by net neutrality, but to cement under the law the ability of ISPs to violate it. A shoddy law passed by Congress that claims to promote 'Internet openness' would be infinitely more difficult to overturn than rules put forth by the FCC.

Journalist Karl Bode urged others reporting on the GOP net neutrality bills to follow Cameron's lead, emphasizing that "these are not good faith efforts to protect consumers, and should not be described as such."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'Stop Line 5': Valve Turner Forces Shutdown of Enbridge Oil Pipeline in Michigan

"We are here to protect the water, land, and air that support all life, including our own. Line 5 poses an immediate threat to our lives and these actions are taken out of necessity and in self-defense."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Delay Is the New Denial': Study Confirms 99.9% of Scientists Agree on Climate

"It's pretty much case closed for any meaningful public conversation about the reality of human-caused climate change."

Brett Wilkins ·


Exposed: How Pfizer Exploits Secretive Vaccine Contracts to Strong-Arm Governments

"Pfizer has used its monopoly on a lifesaving vaccine to extract concessions from desperate governments," said the report's author, urging action from the Biden administration.

Jessica Corbett ·


'A Toxic Presence in the Party': Ocasio-Cortez Joins Calls for Jay Jacobs to Resign

"India Walton is the Democratic nominee for mayor of Buffalo. No amount of racist misogyny from the old boys' club is going to change that."

Brett Wilkins ·


New Multimedia Report Details Unprecedented 'Permian Climate Bomb' in Texas

"If the Biden Administration wants to be serious about its promise to demonstrate U.S. climate leadership, it must first clean up its own backyard."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo