US FCC votes to get rid of net neutrality
In the first step towards removing net neutrality, the US Federal Communications Commission voted to end the rules that came into force in 2015. It has invited public comments on the matter till mid-August. Before the vote, over one million statements had been filed on the site supporting net neutrality. While Facebook and Alphabet supported neutrality, Comcast, Verizon and AT&T opposed it last time.
Internet privacy: US opens doors for exploitation of users' data
US President Donald Trump on April 4 signed into effect a resolution allowing internet service providers to release consumers' web usage data to companies without seeking their consent, revoking recent privacy rules that made it mandatory for them to obtain permission first. It earlier passed Congress in a 215-205 vote. 15 Republicans joined the 190 Democrats opposing it.
President of watchdog FCC welcomes move
President of watchdog Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, welcomed the decision, blaming FCC's "overreach" for privacy concerns. Pai said the FCC in 2016 pushed through legislation to discriminate between companies, a power it got after stripping the Federal Trade Commission of its authority. "Appropriately, Congress has passed a resolution to reject this approach of picking winners and losers before it takes effect," he said.
In the government's defence
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the FCC had "attempted to adopt flawed rules…but in reality created confusion and harmed competition". He added the latest resolution would protect "both consumers and the future of internet innovation".
Top US regulator considering rolling back net neutrality
Less than a month after the US allowed internet service providers to release data without consumers' consent, Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai has suggested rolling back net neutrality. Current framework prohibits service providers from prioritizing certain websites over others. Pai argued it has kept many consumers from accessing better internet, or even getting access. FCC plans to seek comments on new rules soon.