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FCC will not release records around Ajit Pai’s ‘Harlem Shake’ video
They cited the infamous b(5) exemption.
Late last year, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai starred in a weird video produced by a hyper-conservative website called “7 Things You Can Still Do On The Internet After Net Neutrality” shortly before the agency voted to kill net neutrality rules.
In the video, Pai says that even without net neutrality rules people would still be able to “gram” their food, post animal photos, binge-watch shows. He also does the “Harlem Shake.”
Essentially Pai attempted to downplay the concerns from critics who argued that without net neutrality rules, the internet would no longer be an even playing field. The video was even briefly taken down on YouTube after the DJ behind the Harlem Shake made a copyright claim.
It was also widely mocked.
But now the FCC apparently doesn’t want anyone to know more about it.
The FCC denied a Freedom of Information Act request filed by MuckRock for emails between the Daily Caller, the website that produced the video, and the FCC. The agency cited an infamous “b(5) exemption” that allows them to deny requests seeking “inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or letters” that “fall within the scope of the deliberative process privileged.”
The Daily Dot also requested communications regarding the video earlier this year–specifically communication between Pai and Benny Johnson, the Daily Caller writer who wrote the story that accompanied the video. The FCC said there were “no records responsive” to the Daily Dot’s request.
You can read more about the FCC’s rejection of MockRock’s FOIA request here.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).