U.S. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says Silicon Valley is a threat to the internet

“A top US regulator, defending an effort to roll back so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules, said Tuesday that large internet platforms represent the biggest threat to online freedom because they routinely block “content they don’t like,'” Agence France-Presse reports. “Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai delivered remarks days after unveiling a proposal to reverse a hotly contested 2015 rule requiring broadband firms to treat all online traffic equally.”

“Pai said internet platforms — he singled out Twitter — play a more significant role than broadband operators in determining what internet users see,” AFP reports. “‘Despite all the talk about the fear that broadband providers could decide what internet content consumers can see, recent experience shows that so-called edge providers are in fact deciding what content they see,’ Pai said. ‘These providers routinely block or discriminate against content they don’t like.'”

“Pai, appointed by President Donald Trump, offered an example of Twitter’s decision to block a video by a Republican candidate ‘because it featured a pro-life message,’ referring to the politician’s claim of the ‘sale of baby body parts,'” AFP reports. “He said Twitter ‘appears to have a double standard when it comes to suspending or de-verifying conservative users’ accounts as opposed to those of liberal users,’ Pai said. ‘This conduct is many things, but it isn’t fighting for an open internet.'”

“Pai said the debate on ‘net neutrality’ appears driven by Silicon Valley firms’ business interests,” AFP reports. “‘These companies want to place much tougher regulations on broadband providers than they are willing to have placed upon themselves,’ he said. ‘They might cloak their advocacy in the public interest, but the real interest of these Internet giants is in using the regulatory process to cement their dominance in the internet economy.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sounds like Washington might apply greater scrutiny of Silicon Valley companies than we’ve seen in recent times.

SEE ALSO:
U.S. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai: Killing Obama-era rules for so-called ‘net neutrality’ will set the internet free – November 22, 2017
U.S. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai: How the FCC can save the open internet – November 21, 2017
U.S. FCC plans total repeal of Obama-era rules for so-called ‘net neutrality’ – November 21, 2017
U.S. FCC plans December vote to kill so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – November 16, 2017
Apple’s call for ‘strong’ net neutrality rules is a hint about the future of its business – September 1, 2017
Apple breaks their silence on ‘net neutrality,’ remains open to alternative sources of legal authority – August 31, 2017
Trump administration gives thumbs up to overturning FCC’s rules for so-called ‘net neutrality’ – July 19, 2017
]Apple’s deafening silence on so-called ‘net neutrality’ – July 14, 2017
FCC kicks off effort to roll back so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – May 18, 2017
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai explains why he wants to scrap so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – April 28, 2017
FCC Chief Ajit Pai develops plans to roll back so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – April 7, 2017
U.S. FCC chairman wields weed whacker, takes first steps against so-called ‘net neutrality’ – February 3, 2017
How so-called ‘net neutrality’ will fare under President Trump – January 26, 2017
New FCC chairman Ajit Pai vows to take a ‘weed whacker’ to so-called ‘net neutrality’ – January 24, 2017
President Trump elevates Ajit Pai to FCC Chairman – January 23, 2017
Outgoing FCC chief Tom Wheeler offers final defense of so-called ‘net neutrality’ – January 13, 2017
Under President Trump, Obama ally Google may face policy setbacks, including roll back of so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – November 18, 2016
Jeb Bush on FCC and so-called ‘net neutrality’ regulation: ‘One of the craziest ideas I’ve ever heard’ – March 8, 2015
Who loves the FCC’s overreach on so-called ‘net neutrality?’ Telecom lawyers – March 5, 2015

43 Comments

  1. This is nonsense. I don’t support MDN’s position on net neutrality. Keep believing the logical fallacies these politicians are pushing, and you’ll enjoy the higher prices that get passed along to the consumer to cover the unreasonable demands of oligopolistic ISP’s con from businesses as a result under the threat of throttled speeds. Also enjoy the slow speeds they’ll enforce on services who refuse to bend to their greedy demands. Having ISP’s rip off companies instead of making any improvements to their infrastructure is unsustainable and bad for businesses. If ISP’s cared about their service over profit, then we wouldn’t have such slow speeds and high prices compared to other developed parts of the world. What exactly do you think you would be gaining by supporting the destruction of net neutrality, unless you had most of your investments tied up into ISP’s?

    1. Well, in reality, MDN doesn’t support MDN’s position on net neutrality.

      It goes something like “we are in favor of no government regulation until we are in favor of government regulation.”

    2. I agree. Also, I should note, comparing the restrictive content practices of some individual app platforms, such as Twitter, to the content practices of the internet backbone companies is also complete nonsense. Twitter is not the Internet, in spite of what this president thinks. One can choose to not use an individual company’s product if its policies are offensive to the user. However, one cannot decide to drop Comcast, or AT&T, or whoever your local ISP monopoly ISP is, if you want access to the Internet for routine commerce. You simply have to pay whatever they demand, or do without that access, and all that entails.

      1. Exactly.

        Pai’s comparing apples to oranges. I don’t think Pai is stupid, so I have to conclude he is intentionally conflating things to obfuscate the issue.

        As fundamentally a laissez-faire capitalist, I’d be more inclined to accept what Pai and others of similar thought claim… if it weren’t the exceeding amount of information that indicates to me that what they say is utter BS.

        1. “Laissez-faire” only works when there’s a competitive market. For ISPs, there isn’t.
          What we have here is a move toward state capitalism, which is the economic model of fascism.

  2. I’ll be waiting to hear from all the First Amendment fans to decry this obvious effort by the Government to dictate to private parties what political views they are forbidden to oppose or required to support. The doofus running the FCC clearly does not understand that consumers have the choice whether to patronize Facebook, Twitter, and Google. If we do not appreciate their editorial policies, we have alternatives. We do not need a Ministry of Truth to control the message of alternative media, any more than to censor the traditional press.

    If we do not appreciate the only ISP in town, we are just out of luck. If they control which messages we are allowed to see, we have no alternative. It isn’t remotely the same. What part of “competition” does this alleged Republican not understand?

    1. Funny you think the republicans are for competition. No, they are for their donor base. Oh, I see why you are confused, they like to use the word competition a lot, but they always seem to mean the opposite of what they say.

      1. Those ARE the real republicans now, which is why I tore up my Republican registration and sent it to the county GOP office. I went from fundraising for McCain and Romney to fundraising for a Democratic candidate running to unseat our long serving house member that was once a moderate and has shifted to party line voting regardless of the damage a lot of the Trump agenda is actually doing in our district.

        As a moderate, I feel it is hopeless to even try to reason with the current Republicans on policy. They have become a cult that only follows the dogma handed down by the Republican superpacs and donors.

    2. “In an impassioned plea, Mr Cook, boss of the world’s largest company, says that the epidemic of false reports ‘is a big problem in a lot of the world’ and necessitates a crackdown by the authorities and technology firms.”

      1. I hate to respond to an off-topic post, but if you want to cast stones in a glass house about “fake news:”

        Are you talking about the news that Our President has apparently started questioning Obama’s birthplace again, is still insisting that he was robbed of a popular vote majority by massive voter fraud, has questioned the authenticity of the Access Hollywood tape, retweeted videos of Muslim violence that aren’t, attacked the British Prime Minister when she pointed that out, and accused Joe Scarborough of murder?

            1. botvinnik is why MDM went from a daily to monthly read for me. 9to5 and Apple Insider have better content, far less ads and none of these right-wing-nuts trolling. In any case, you won’t address any of the points TxUser made because you know they make your fuhrer look pathetic.

            2. The Difference Between 44 & 45:
              • Trump donated his salary to fight the Opioid Crisis.
              • Obama donated his daughter to Harvey Weinstein.

              class dismissed.

            3. You’re a one trick troll – whataboutism. Your fuhrer taught you well.

              Are you talking about 45 who has apparently started questioning Obama’s birthplace again, is still insisting that he was robbed of a popular vote majority by massive voter fraud, has questioned the authenticity of the Access Hollywood tape, retweeted videos of Muslim violence that aren’t, attacked the British Prime Minister when she pointed that out, and accused Joe Scarborough of murder?

            4. The Difference Between 44 & 45:
              • Trump admitted he is no different that Harvey Weinstein.
              • Trump supports pedophiles like Roy Moore.
              • Trump told he us wants to have sex with his daughter.
              • Trump is the president now.

              None of those apply to 44, none.

            5. of course, those are lies, that’s why the ‘tards have lost:
              • The White House
              • The Senate
              • The House
              • The Supreme Court
              • The Governorships
              • The State Houses

              your statist ideology has been rejected by the American people on every level of federal and state government. You are powerless.

              You are impotent.

            6. All not only true but verified by your fuhrer… except that he’s the president now. He was of course elected president, but he’s anything but a real president. He’s a clown living in the White House playing golf as often as he can. And while your ‘victory’ will cost our country dearly, it’s temporary, so I recommend you revel for as long as you can. In the meantime you, the Christo-facists and white supremacists will celebrate until we stomp on your silly red caps.

            7. It is off-topic unless you are under the impression that either Tim Cook or the corporation he runs have a First Amendment duty to help other people distribute fake news. Freedom of expression is a right, which means that Cook has the right NOT to spread lies and to urge that others not spread lies.

              Mr. Pai, on the other hand, does have a First Amendment duty not to use the power of government to punish private companies whose opinions disagree with the Party Line. His legal position is that nobody on the Internet is a utility or common carrier, but he still apparently wants to impose “must carry” rules on private companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter as if they were common carriers.

            8. “…and necessitates a crackdown by the AUTHORITIES and technology firms.”

              Cook is, in fact, advocating government censorship of the internet to fit his own agenda…a blatant violation of the First Amendment.

        1. No chance of a sensible answer from the trumpbot…cut from the same dumb potus cloth, he posted a fake alt-right video about the London terrorist attacks which actually was from a march three months earlier. But like Sarah Sanders blathered from the White House, it doesn’t matter whether the video is real or fake…it’s the message that counts.
          Which in this particular case is blatant racism propped up by reference to a convicted UK white supremacist leader of the party that inspired the murder of Jo Cox MP, who shouted “Britain First” as he plunged the knife home.
          Just think about that. Trump tuacitly approved the organisation responsible for provoking the murder of a young MP. Just imagine the howls of anger that would ensue from your side of the pond if the shoe was on the other foot? He (botty) would have a meltdown. Except that his response is just more stupid whataboutism arrogance, in which I might add, he grossly misinterprets for his own sordid perverted homophobic reasons, the intent of Tim Cooks intervention. I’ve read the whole interview, several times and clearly, TC is talking about the issue of a broader education that encourages more questioning of today’s issues in a world of fake news and tribalism, how important it is to eradicate bias. Botty just picked up on one word ‘ingrained’ and created a paranoid conspiracy of fear that children might try and teach their parents something. That would be endearingly funny if it wasn’t so tragically sad. Botty of course would hate it

    1. Exactly what truth has Pai spoken at all? He, just like almost all members of the current administration, have been put in place by moneyed interests to dismantle any remaining obstacles to their profiteering.

      Don’t tell me that profiteering without any principles is what you believe is what the constitution was put in place to enable.

  3. What a ridiculous statement!

    Twitter can only block content going through its OWN servers. ISP’s will have the ability to block content from anywhere to anyone. That’s a HUGE difference.

  4. At some point, consumers will have to demonstrate with their wallets that there is a limit to what will be tolerated. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF.ORG) website should be overloaded with support in their efforts to thwart the removal of net neutrality protections. And that support should include the willingness of the consumer to cancel their internet services whenever the service providers get out of line…………………………….like now.

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