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Trump Threatens Veto Of Democrat Internet Takeover Bill

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Yesterday evening the White House issued a statement saying the Trump administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 1644. This Democrat-sponsored legislation would nullify the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule on “Restoring Internet Freedom,” 83 Fed. Reg. 7852 (February 22, 2018).

Last year, under Chairman Ajit Pai, the FCC returned to the light-touch regulatory scheme that enabled the internet to develop and thrive for nearly two decades by promoting internet freedom and encouraging network investment.

Since the new rule was adopted in 2018, consumers have benefited from a greater than 35 percent increase in average, fixed broadband download speeds, and the United States rose to sixth, from thirteenth, in the world for those speeds. In 2018, fiber was also made available to more new homes than in any previous year, and capital investment by the Nation’s top six Internet service providers increased by $2.3 billion.

The White House said H.R. 1644 would undermine this success by repealing the FCC’s current rule to:

(1) restore the classification of broadband as an information service and end the public-utility-style regulation of the internet; and

(2) promote transparency by requiring broadband providers to disclose their network management practices and commercial terms, including any blocking, throttling, paid prioritization, or affiliate prioritization.

H.R. 1644 would instead return to the heavy-handed regulatory approach of the previous administration and undo the FCC’s action that restored the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to investigate and take enforcement action against unfair, deceptive, or anti-competitive acts or practices committed by broadband providers.

H.R. 1644 would also prevent the Commission from adopting rules similar to the current regulations, tying the hands of the Commission in the future and preventing the agency from evolving its rules to adapt to emerging technologies.

The White House statement concluded by advising that if H.R. 1644 were presented to the President, his advisors would recommend that he veto it.

We are pleased to learn that President Trump’s administration opposes the Democrats’ H.R. 1644 and we hope that the White House statement is indicative of more engagement on the current challenges to maintaining an open internet communications market.

In the last week we have seen Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg suggest that government regulation of social media platforms may be necessary, a suggestion that seemed to gain some echoes on the Left. We likewise saw Google form an advisory committee on AI and then quickly disband it in the face of employee protests over the inclusion of conservatives.

Neither of those developments bode well for the future of an open internet, free from political manipulation. We support the President’s threatened veto of H.R. 1644 and urge the Administration to actively monitor and if possible, curb the political manipulation of online communications.

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Communist Regulations

The Communists will try to gain control of everything that smacks of Freedom!! They want to control all aspects of our lives as was/is in the CCCP, Cuba, China, No. Korea, and Venezuela. Sick'em Trump!!!