The battle for digital democracy, the last frontier of press freedom crucial to preserve, continues on a day that will live infamy.
On June 11, the FCC’s Orwellian-named Restoring Internet Freedom Order took effect, giving predatory telecom and cable giants control over a vital public resource.
The 1996 Congressional Review Act (CRA) empowers Congress to review new regulations issued by federal agencies – enabling a House and Senate majority to rescind them.
If repealed, regulations can’t be reinstated in substantially the same form “unless the reissued or new rule is specifically authorized by a law enacted after the date of the joint resolution disapproving the original rule” – 5 US Code § 801(b)(2).
In mid-May, Senate members voted to overturn the FCC’s ruling by a narrow 52 – 47 majority. The battle of the House remains waged.
Achieving it requires unanimous Dem support along with 22 Republicans. The final hurdle is avoiding a likely Trump veto if things go this far.
June 11 online actions are planned by Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, and the Free Press Action Fund to overturn the FCC ruling.
House members were warned. Support the reversal or face an activist summer campaign to vote refusniks out of office in November.
Polls show overwhelming public support for Net Neutrality, opposing the FCC repeal. On June 11, intense campaigning to win majority House support begins.
According to Demand Progress communications director Mark Stanley:
“Few policies coming out of Washington in recent years have been as universally opposed as the FCC’s repeal of Net Neutrality.”
Overwhelming public sentiment is clear. Fight for the Future’s director Evan Greer stressed “(p)eople (are) pissed off. Really pissed off. And rightly so,” adding:
“It’s hard to imagine a more clear example of how our democracy is broken. We’re going to harness the power of the internet to ensure that people have a way to channel that anger productively.”
“Any lawmaker of any party who fails to sign the discharge petition in support of the CRA will regret it come election time.” Separately he said: “Hold the obituaries. Net neutrality is not dead.”
A web controlled by predatory telecom and cable giants will transform digital freedom into online tyranny – an objective crucial to prevent.
Battle for the Net said:
“Net neutrality ends June 11th, but the fight has just begun” to save it.
“Internet providers…will legally be allowed to censor websites, block apps and services, and charge us extra fees to access online content.”
“The Internet as we know it won’t suddenly end. But with each second that passes until net neutrality is restored, it will be slowly dying.”
The spirit of fictional news anchor Howard Beale is needed. In the 1976 Hollywood film Network, he expressed outrage about Washington’s bipartisan criminal class, yelling:
“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.”
Decades later, millions nationwide like him are needed in real life – giving vent, demanding long denied fundamental democratic rights, accepting nothing less.
Restoring Net Neutrality, opposing endless wars, and demanding governance serving everyone equitably are key objectives for starters.
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the CRG, Correspondent of Global Research based in Chicago.