Just a little over a month after his confirmation, Pai is making moves to dismantle freedom in America. (It’s worth noting that Pai previously worked as associate general counsel for Verizon Communications, one of the companies that would benefit greatly if his plan is pushed forward. It’s also worth noting that FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has spoken out against Pai’s plan.)
This smacks of authoritarianism, especially for those who have actually lived under conditions where free expression is limited or even actively suppressed. Has there been a more concerted effort to make America’s internet look like
Pai’s move probably wasn’t inspired by China’s control of web access within its borders, but the parallels are striking—throttled bandwidth, a Great Firewall, “sensitive” keywords that might trigger a closer look at your web traffic should you think out loud and leave an angry post online.
Already, we are seeing signs that Pai’s plan is supported by foreign elements. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has found that the identities of tens of thousands of his state’s residents have been stolen and misused to provide manipulated feedback to the FCC regarding net neutrality, effectively paving over the sentiments of sensible disapproval. In a separate tweet, Schneiderman said, “My office analyzed the public comments submitted to the @FCC about #netneutrality—and found that 100,000s of Americans were likely impersonated to drown out the views of real people and businesses.”