AT&T Pushing False Internet Bill of Rights
AT&T worked hard to get the FCC to repeal Title II Net Neutrality but now is trying to fool people with full page advertisements calling for an Internet Bill of Rights. Of course, the reality is Title Net Neutrality was a bill of rights for Internet users. AT&T hopes to find bought off members of Congres to introduce their version which should be more accurately described as the Telecom’s Bill of Rights.
It seems the AT&T campaign is designed to stop the momentum of the Internet movement on passing a Resoulution of Disapproval under the Congressional Review Act. Passage of the resolution is one vote away from successin the senate and has more than 110 cosponsors in the House. A twitter campaign directed at members of Congress claims “We need real net neutrality – not a CRA that can’t pass. Please pass a permanent net neutrality law!”
Participating in this campaign is the falsely named Progressive Policy Institute (PPI). PPI is anything but progressive. It is a corporate Democratic Party allied organization. It hides its funding through the Third Wave Foundation and it was created as part of the Clinton-era New Democrats. They do not mention on their site that their funding comes through the Third Wave Foundation. They take the position that they support net neutrality but oppose Title II. This is the kind of confusing position taken to deceive people. They have received funding from the telecom industry for years, so it is not surprising they are part of this deceptive AT&T campaign. From their inaccurate name, to hiding their funding to their position on net neutrality, PPI shows itself to be an organization that cannot be trusted and who must always be questioned.
Fight for the Future claimed “AT&T’s announcement also comes off as a bit of a joke at this moment, given that their lobbyists are shocked by the momentum of the Congressional Review Act resolutions to outright block the FCC’s repeal.” Evan Greer, campaign director, for Fight for the Future said “We had an Internet bill of rights. It was called Title II and AT&T’s army of lobbyists did everything in their power to burn it down. It would be a lot easier to take AT&T at their word if they hadn’t spent more than $16 million last year alone lobbying to kill net neutrality and privacy protections for Internet users.”
Gigi Sohn of the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and formerly Counselor to former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, amplified those comments:
AT&T’s call for an “Internet Bill of Rights” is the ultimate in hypocrisy. Among other things, the company has led the charge to repeal the Wheeler FCC’s strong broadband privacy rules and rules protecting Americans with landline phones, promoted state laws that ban communities from building their own broadband networks, and of course, has been a central player in the FCC’s recent repeal of its network neutrality rules and the agency’s abdication of its role protecting consumers and competition.Make no mistake about it, any “Internet Bill of Rights” supported by AT&T will leave the FCC powerless, net neutrality and privacy protections weak and consumers and competition left out in the cold.
“As soon as AT&T wants to stop lobbying against Net Neutrality, broadband privacy and the other rights it’s worked to kill via the Trump FCC and this Congress, maybe people will stop laughing at desperate tactics like this. For now, all we can do is point out the company’s audacity in pretending that this hyper-partisan Congress can step in to fill the void of the Net Neutrality repeal by writing a new law tailor-made for AT&T.”