(The Nation) -- The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to eliminate "the First Amendment of the Internet," and in so doing it delivered the Trump administration's most brutal blow yet to democracy in America.
Despite overwhelming public support for a free and open Internet, the CFC's Trump-aligned majority engineered a 3-2 vote to overturn net-neutrality rules that have required Internet service providers to treat all online communications equally -- and, in a related move, the commission majority rejected the authority of the FCC to protect a free and open Internet. Commission chair Ajit Pai, the telecommunications-industry lawyer who has done Donald Trump's bidding in debates on a host of media and democracy issues, has cleared the way for service providers to establish information superhighways for political and corporate elites, while consigning communications from grassroots activists to digital dirt roads.
Addressing the American people on the day when the FCC dismissed millions of appeals on behalf of net neutrality, dissenting Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said Thursday: "What saddens me is that the agency that is supposed to protect you is abandoning you."
Advertisement - story continues below
Pai and his associates have moved to create what former FCC commissioner Michael Copps refers to as "a gatekeeper's paradise," where "our civic dialogue -- the news and information upon which a successful self-governing society depends upon -- would be further eroded."