California has recently reinstated laws upholding Net Neutrality after the FCC under the Trump administration removed them on the federal level. This comes at a huge moment of controversy in the battle for freedom of the internet, and it comes as a surprise to many that politicians have taken it this far. It would seem as though the United States government would understand that the majority of people want Net Neutrality, considering every time there is a vote, a huge petition pops up. In reality, though, a great majority of senators couldn’t care less about the majority. They cater to the exorbitant wealth of telecommunication companies like AT&T, because the US government is neither a democracy nor a republic—It’s a plutocracy.
Ajit Pai and his FCC struck down Net Neutrality despite incredible pushback and anger among the American people. His road to doing so was ridden with controversy, including his terrible ad for ‘internet freedom’ (which has 97% dislikes on YouTube) and the usage of deceased people’s social media to support Net Neutrality repeal in a sort of bot network. Ajit Pai himself even has extensive connections with AT&T, so it’s not hard to understand why he wants to strip people of their internet protection. Even though the regulations were repealed, the FCC made one huge mistake: Pai and his FCC declared that the federal government had no right to regulate how the internet is distributed by these companies.
One would think a right wing politician would be more aware when making statements like this. After all, ‘states’ rights’ has long been a selling point of the conservative parties in the USA. Pai, however, managed to forget a little thing called the tenth amendment. When he said the federal government had no right to regulate this, he inadvertently gave the power to the states. California has jumped on this opportunity and instated even stricter regulations on how telecom companies can try and destroy their customers. And so the stage is set for a legal battle between California and the Trump administration. This one will be immense fun for the mad men of the world.
Michael O’Malley is a Business Administration/Theatre Double major sophomore at USC. He enjoys long walks on the beach, screaming into the abyss, and dancing with friends. He grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and does know how to read.