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Net Neutrality Redux: Why Republicans Shouldn't Mess With the Internet


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  • Republicans are working to gut net neutrality and other consumer protections online, and Democrats are using the issue to drive a wedge between the GOP and voters. Meanwhile, the same activists who turned net neutrality into a household name two years ago have vowed to make Republicans pay.
  • Related: Live at Truthdig: What Is the Future of Net Neutrality Under Trump?

Mike Ludwig, Truthout

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The internet is quite popular these days, but companies such as AT&T and Comcast that provide internet service are not. That's one reason why Democrats are betting that voters will punish Republicans in the next election for scrapping rules designed to stop internet providers from harvesting personal information without permission and manipulating how easily users can access certain parts of the web.

The threat of voter disapproval was not enough to thwart the legislation repealing online privacy rules that the Republican majority recently rushed through Congress with party-line votes. Democrats hammered their Republican colleagues for selling out their constituents' personal information to big business, a charge that could come back to haunt the GOP now that a looming fight over net neutrality at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) promises to keep the broadband lobby in the media spotlight.

Mike Ludwig is an investigative reporter at Truthout and a contributor to the Truthout anthology, Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?

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Related: at Truthdig: What Is the Future of Net Neutrality Under Trump? Emma Niles, Truthdig 

An open internet is being threatened by the Trump administration:

According to an article by the media-advocacy organization Free Press, the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, “vigorously opposed rules [the FCC] adopted to protect the rights of internet users” when Pai worked at the FCC under Obama.