Congress launches investigation as Republicans claim Obama had ‘improper influence’ over so-called ‘net neutrality’

“Congressional Republicans are accusing the White House of having ‘an improper influence’ over the Federal Communications Commission’s decision on net neutrality, and are launching an investigation,” Jon Brodkin reports for Ars Technica.

“The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform wrote to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler today demanding documentation of all communication between FCC personnel and the White House, as well as calendar appointments, visitor logs, and meeting minutes related to meetings with the White House, and all internal documents discussing the views and recommendations of the White House,” Brodkin reports. “‘Reports indicate that the views expressed by the White House potentially had an improper influence on the development of the draft Open Internet Order circulated internally at the Commission on February 5, 2015,’ the letter from committee chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said. ‘Specifically, there are questions regarding the FCC’s decision to promote the reclassification of broadband services under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.'”

“Obama in November called upon the FCC to reclassify broadband Internet access as a common carrier service, and to impose net neutrality rules that prevent Internet providers from interfering with Web traffic. Despite making his opinion known, Obama said at the time that the FCC is an independent agency and can do as it wishes,” Brodkin reports. “This week, Wheeler issued his proposal to reclassify broadband as Obama suggested.”

Read more in the full article here.

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s full letter here.

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