A HUGE TRIUMPH for all those in favour of a free internet came last night as the US Senate voted to overturn Ajit Pai’s net neutrality ‘weed whacker’ plans, which were due to kick in on 11 June.
The 52-47 vote, which saw three Republicans vote against their own side, used the Congressional Review Act – one of the checks and balances specifically designed to fix problems caused by government agencies headed up by people who think they cool, but they not.
But here’s the rub. Although this sounds like a glorious victory, it doesn’t mean squat in bigger terms. The House of Representatives would need to vote the same way, and that’ll take over 20 rebels, not just 3.
Then, of course, America’s hilarious mid-season sitcom President would need to give it final say, and he isn’t exactly on-board with the whole net neutrality thing.
But, the issue is now firmly back in the public eye (alas, too late to avoid the current deadline of 11 June) and with midterms due this year, it could hopefully return it to the status of ‘hot button issue’.
In the event, a number of states are creating their own laws that will ensure net neutrality remains locally, but some experts are questioning how enforceable it is.
On the other hand – how easy would it be to remove net neutrality without it straying over state lines?
It’s more than likely going to end up in court. These things are, have and usually do.
The important thing here is that even before any drubbing of the Republicans in the mid-terms, there is a bi-partisan will to ensure that Pai’s policies aren’t turned into something that can’t be undone.
What happens next remains to be seen, but the Senate victory should show the world that this isn’t a cut and dried issue yet, by a long way. µ
Source : Inquirer