- Fans call out Madonna for edited Eurovision video Tuesday 9:36 PM
- Partnered Twitch streamer temporarily banned for airing troll’s racist message Tuesday 8:45 PM
- Reddit theory says fans are wrong about who won ‘Game of Thrones’ Tuesday 6:52 PM
- Elon Musk hires ‘absolute unit’ sheep meme creator to be Tesla’s social media manager Tuesday 6:12 PM
- Jason Momoa stands by his Khaleesi after the ‘Game of Thrones’ finale Tuesday 4:05 PM
- Airbnb, 23andMe partner for creepy heritage travel recommendations Tuesday 3:26 PM
- Rep. Katie Porter goes viral again for trouncing Ben Carson (updated) Tuesday 3:26 PM
- This deepfake takes Bill Hader’s Schwarzenegger impression to the next level Tuesday 2:58 PM
- Wanda Sykes rails against Trump and offers much-needed perspective in ‘Not Normal’ Tuesday 2:41 PM
- Man arrested after allegedly threatening to shoot YouTube employees Tuesday 2:13 PM
- Some House Dems are backing away from the Save the Internet Act Tuesday 1:40 PM
- Thousands sign petition calling for Danny DeVito to play Wolverine Tuesday 1:02 PM
- Jason Mitchell fired from ‘Desperados’ and ‘The Chi’ after misconduct allegations Tuesday 12:36 PM
- Police raid Black woman’s house after white neighbor complains about loud Malcolm X speeches Tuesday 12:20 PM
- ‘Transfixed’ says it’s a ‘breakthrough’ series, but it still fetishizes trans bodies Tuesday 11:04 AM
Here’s the legal argument cable companies are using against FCC net neutrality
Is the law on net neutrality’s side?
In the joint brief, the first of many filings related to the case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the plaintiffs argue that the rules adopted in late February are illegal and represent an “extraordinary assertion of regulatory authority over the Internet.”
The FCC’s rules reclassify broadband Internet as a “telecommunications service” and subject it to Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Under Title II, Internet service providers cannot block, downgrade, or prioritize certain content. The rules represent an ambitious attempt by the commission to preserve an open Internet.
“To reach [its decision], the FCC distorts the Communications Act’s text and disregards the regulatory regime the statute codified.”
Internet service providers AT&T and CenturyLink joined trade groups U.S. Telecom, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), the American Cable Association, CTIA – The Wireless Association, and the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association in filing the brief.
In the brief, the plaintiffs argue that Congress never intended to let the FCC to use the Communications Act, or the subsequent Telecommunications Act of 1996, to classify the Internet in this way.
“To reach [its decision], the FCC distorts the Communications Act’s text and disregards the regulatory regime the statute codified,” the brief says.
The companies also argue that the rules “will undermine future investment by large and small broadband providers, to the detriment of consumers,” a warning that the telecom industry cites frequently in attempting to avoid regulation.
Open-Internet supporters rallied to defend the FCC after opponents filed their brief.
“Legions of lawyers and lobbyists working for the phone and cable companies aren’t going to succeed this time in taking these rights away from Internet users,” Matt Wood, policy director at Free Press, said in a statement. “Their overheated rhetoric in these court cases ignores both the law and the way that Internet access actually operates.”
The appeals court may side with the FCC on its interpretation of the relevant laws, but the plaintiffs’ opening statement drives home the fact that the court battle over net neutrality has just begun.
Photo via Joe Gratz/Flickr (PD) | Remix by Jason Reed
Eric Geller is a politics reporter who focuses on cybersecurity, surveillance, encryption, and privacy. A former staff writer at the Daily Dot, Geller joined Politico in June 2016, where he's focused on policymaking at the White House, the Justice Department, the State Department, and the Commerce Department.