10 Mar 2015

“The Internet Freedom Act” is a House bill intended to destroy newly instituted Net Neutrality rights. And of the bill's 31 co-sponsors, all but two of them received money from a major telecom or its lobby in 2014 alone.

All but two of the 31 co-sponsors of a House bill to kill net neutrality received thousands from telecoms in just the last election cycle. Is their cash enough to end a free Web?
“The Internet Freedom Act” is a House bill intended to destroy newly instituted Net Neutrality rights. And of the bill's 31 co-sponsors, all but two of them received money from a major telecom or its lobby in 2014 alone.
The 29 co-sponsors received over $800,000 from AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and their lobby, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA).
The legislation would invalidate rules instituted by the FCC last week that declared the Internet a public utility and disallowed telecoms from forcibly slowing or blocking Web traffic to competitors, or separating the Web into artificial, cable package-like tiers for lower-paying users.
The bill was brought to the House floor by Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and 30 Republican colleagues. In the last year, Blackburn received $87,000 from those Internet service providers, or ISPs, and their lobby, through her campaign committee and her political action committee, MARSHA PAC. This included a maximum $25,000 donation from AT&T.
Five other co-sponsors received $50,000 or more in the same cycle. An FEC mandate caps donations at $10,000 per candidate for each company (or $25,000 for those with PACs).
The NCTA spent $196,500—or 28 percent of its total Republican House spending budget—funding just 23 co-sponsors of this bill. There are 245 Republicans in the House, and the NCTA donated campaign money to 126 in the 2014 election cycle.
Still, the NCTA says that the Internet Freedom Act “isn't a bill that we are promoting.” When asked if the lobbying group agrees with the premise of the bill, NCTA VP of Communications and Digital Strategy Brian Dietz replied, “Essentially, yes.”
“Title II reclassification (which declares the Internet a public utility) is heavy regulation of the Internet that goes way beyond the reasonable net neutrality protections that have widespread support,” Dietz told The Daily Beast.
The only two co-sponsors of the bill to not receive campaign funding from an Internet service provider in 2014, John J. Duncan Jr. (R-TN) and Walter Jones (R-NC), were two of the last three representatives to sign on as co-sponsors,according to Congress.gov.
Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) received $81,500 in contributions from Internet service providers and their lobby in 2014. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) also took in $59,000 and Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) received $51,500

2 comments:

  1. Hmmm
    Without net neutrality the American people will be unable to stay informed. Without net neutrality the Republic will wither and die because a citizen cut off from the free flow of information and ideas citizens cannot make informed decisions. Clearly these people believe that taking money to protect corporations and their profits is more important than protecting the citizenry. Most people would call that treason.

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