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CDT – Court Strikes Blow to FCC’s Open Internet Rules

“Today, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Federal Communication Commission’s Open Internet rules in its Verizon v. FCC ruling. The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), which filed an amicus brief in the case on behalf of First Amendment scholars, issued the following statement in response to the ruling: “The court’s ruling is disappointing because it strikes down the key provisions that provided reasonable and basic protections for a vibrant, open Internet,” said David Sohn, CDT’s General Counsel. “The good news is that the opinion also lays out exactly how the FCC essentially tied its own hands in the case, and makes it clear that the FCC has the power to fix the problem. The Court upheld the FCC’s general authority to issue rules aimed at spurring broadband deployment, and accepted the basic policy rationale for Internet neutrality as articulated by the FCC. The arguments in favor of Internet neutrality are as strong as ever, but prior FCC decisions on how to treat broadband have painted the agency into a corner. Those decisions are not set in stone, however, and the ball is now back in the FCC’s court. The FCC should reconsider its classification of broadband Internet access and reestablish its authority to enact necessary safeguards for Internet openness,” Sohn added.”

  • See also ALA “extremely disappointed” with net neutrality ruling: ““The American Library Association is extremely disappointed with today’s decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to strike down the FCC’s “Net Neutrality” decision. ALA has been a long-time supporter of the free flow of information for all people. Now that the Internet has become the primary mechanism for delivering information, services and applications to the general public, it is especially important that commercial Internet Service Providers are not able to control or manipulate the content of these communications. “The court’s decision gives commercial companies the astounding legal authority to block Internet traffic, give preferential treatment to certain Internet services or applications, and steer users to or away from certain web sites based on their own commercial interests. This ruling, if it stands, will adversely affect the daily lives of Americans and fundamentally change the open nature of the Internet, where uncensored access to information has been a hallmark of the communication medium since its inception.”

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