- Daniel Caesar dons cape for whiteness—and gets canceled Wednesday 4:29 PM
- Triton is a new malware ‘deliberately’ designed to put lives at risk Wednesday 3:23 PM
- ‘Into the Dark: I’m Just F*cking with You’ is one of the series’ best Wednesday 1:54 PM
- Trump’s latest prop, a map of ISIS, gets memed Wednesday 12:54 PM
- HBO sends fans on a global scavenger hunt for 6 Iron Thrones Wednesday 11:51 AM
- The Awkward Family Photos game is Cards Against Humanity for meme lovers Wednesday 11:50 AM
- London firefighters’ organization accuses ‘Peppa Pig’ of sexism Wednesday 11:41 AM
- YouTuber accused of abusing her children to make kid-friendly content Wednesday 11:20 AM
- Ari Fleischer’s Iraq War tweet isn’t going over well Wednesday 10:54 AM
- Cop arrested for recording man’s genitals, forcing mentally ill man to twerk Wednesday 10:37 AM
- MoviePass rebrands its unlimited plan, again Wednesday 10:37 AM
- Former Alaska senator launches meme-filled 2020 primary campaign Wednesday 10:17 AM
- The Shane Dawson cat controversy has resulted in these sex memes Wednesday 10:06 AM
- Sarah Sanders mocks CNN reporter with ‘dear diary’ tweet Wednesday 9:03 AM
- Know what you’re signing up for thanks to these dating site reviews Wednesday 8:58 AM
AT&T says net neutrality is a violation of its right to free speech
How will the FCC respond?
The Federal Communications Commission reclassified broadband as a common carrier in February, essentially prohibiting Internet service providers from blocking websites and throttling online services. Trade organizations representing major telecom providers like AT&T and Verizon announced lawsuits opposing the rules almost immediately.
After the FCC’s final rules were published last month, however, AT&T announced plans to file its own lawsuit against the FCC. A document filed on May 15 with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is hearing the case, previews the issues that the company plans to raise in court.
AT&T will first ask the court to determine whether the FCC’s decision to reclassify broadband “violates the terms of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.”
Essentially, AT&T contends that the reclassification violates its First Amendment right to free speech by preventing it from controlling or blocking Web traffic whenever, and however, it wants. The FCC has previously stated that ISPs are conduits for the free speech of others and that net neutrality is intended to prevent that speech from being burdened for an ISP’s profit.
AT&T further argues that when the FCC reclassified broadband as a public utility, the agency violated the Fifth Amendment, which states that “private property” cannot be “taken for public use, without just compensation.”
The FCC is also facing lawsuits on similar grounds from Alamo Broadband, a small Texas-based ISP, and the trade groups USTelecom, CTIA – The Wireless Association, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), and the American Cable Association.
AT&T’s legal argument is not novel. A federal appeals court overturned prior FCC rules prohibiting ISPs from discriminating against Internet traffic in 2012. Verizon, which brought that case, had argued on similar free-speech grounds, but the court’s decision was based solely on the fact that broadband was not classified as a public utility at the time.
“We solved that,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in early May. “That issue’s gone.”
Wheeler added that he was “confident” that the court will rule in net neutrality’s favor.
Dell Cameron was a reporter at the Daily Dot who covered security and politics. In 2015, he revealed the existence of an American hacker on the U.S. government's terrorist watchlist. He is a co-author of the Sabu Files, an award-nominated investigation into the FBI's use of cyber-informants. He became a staff writer at Gizmodo in 2017.