The FCC somehow publicly lost public comments on a petition they were mandated to create. It might not matter, anyway. Telecoms are outlobbying net neutrality advocates 3:1. That’s all that matters in all of American government. But due to one provision, the FCC was at least forced to talk about it.
In April, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed a new rule that would allow for corporations to discriminate against certain kinds of speech on the web. By rule, the commission put the proposal up for public comment.
Yesterday, the FCC’s website somehow lost public access to signatures and public comments for a petition to stop it.
Today, the commission said it was vowing to give those people a chance to file again.
…The spokeswoman also politely asked everyone to “please be assured that the commission … is committed to making sure that everyone trying to submit comments will have their views entered into the record.”
The record — if they can keep the website up and running — will show that almost all of the comments are against the new rules, which shouldn’t be a surprise. As former FCC Commissioner Robert M. McDowell pointed out today, consumers stand to gain nothing by having increased FCC oversight of the internet.
On the other end of the influence game, telecoms lobbying for the new rules are outspending their opponents 3 to 1. So you know they stand to gain something.
So, the FCC gets to take sides. Who do you think they will side with? Corporations and their paid lobbyists? That is the official lobbyists in addition to the political hacks who build their careers on donations from special business interests.
Or will they come down on the side of you and me?
Don’t hold your breath too long.