Five years ago, the movement for internet freedom won an important victory when the Federal Communications Commission reclassified the internet as a common carrier, making it like a utility that everyone should have equal access to without discrimination. That was quickly reversed in 2017 under the new chair of the FCC, Ajit Pai, a former Verizon lawyer, who deregulated the internet giving the government no authority to oversee the internet service providers like Comcast and AT&T. I speak with Josh Stager of the Open Technology Institute about the ongoing fight to protect the internet and what we need to do next.
Joshua Stager is the senior policy counsel and government affairs lead at the Open Technology Institute. He specializes in telecommunications law and policy, including OTI’s efforts to protect net neutrality and promote broadband competition.
Prior to New America, Stager was Sen. Al Franken’s law fellow on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he focused on antitrust, consumer privacy, and surveillance law. He was previously a law clerk at the Department of Justice, a legislative aide in the House of Representatives, and an assistant editor at Congressional Quarterly.
Stager earned a J.D. from New York University and a B.A. in political communication and geography from George Washington University.