Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that she, along with other state attorneys general, will appeal the Federal Communications Commission's ( FCC ) action to eliminate existing net neutrality rules that prohibit internet service providers ( ISPs ) from discriminating among consumers and content providers.
The FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which was approved today in a 3-2 vote over the objections of Madigan and attorneys general from around the country, eliminates existing prohibitions that allow people to have sole discretion over their internet usage. As a result of today's vote, internet service providers will be allowed to interfere with customers' use of the internet by blocking or slowing down access to content. Providers will now be able to favor their own content over third-party sites by slowing down access, or charging content providers for priority treatment or access to an internet 'fast lane.'
"Today's Commission vote undermines the public interest by putting our free and open internet at risk," Madigan said. "In taking this action, the Commission disregarded the overwhelming view of the public and ignored the legal precedent upholding the existing net neutrality rules."
Earlier this week, the Attorney General urged the FCC to delay its vote in light of widespread reports that millions of comments received by the FCC in the current rule-making process were submitted under fraudulent or stolen identities. Madigan also called upon the FBI to investigate the sources of the fraudulent comments to uncover how they were submitted and to require the FCC to protect the reliability of its public comment system.
Madigan also joined a coalition of 17 other state attorneys general urging the FCC to delay its vote, stressing the importance to the rulemaking process of public participation. The attorneys general encouraged the FCC to cooperate with investigations by law enforcement agencies.
In July, Madigan led a coalition of 14 attorneys general in submitting comments to the FCC opposing the proposed rollback of the critical net neutrality protections. Madigan argued that the FCC must ensure open access to the internet and the continued equal access to all content providers, which can only be upheld through the principles of an open internet or net neutrality.