The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday adopted sweeping new regulations sought by President Obama for how Americans use and do business on the Internet, in a party-line vote that is sure to be challenged by the broadband industry, Fox News reports.
The commission, following a contentious meeting, voted 3-2 to adopt its so-called net neutrality plan — a proposal that remained secret in the run-up to the final vote.
On its surface, the plan is aimed at barring service providers from creating paid “fast lanes” on the Internet, which consumer advocates and Internet companies worry would edge out cash-strapped startups and smaller Internet-based businesses.
Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai, who delivered some of the most scathing criticism of the plan Thursday, warned the policy represents a “monumental shift” to “government control of the Internet.”
Further, he accused the FCC of bending to the will of Obama, who last fall came out in favor of such a sweeping regulatory plan.
(Who doubts the federal government will use this to silence people’s voices on the Internet that it does not like?)