Net neutrality activists harassing us at home, says FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

Senator Kamala Harris said the law will give broadband providers the chance to unreasonably interfere with lawful content.

Ajit Pai (Courtesy of twitter)

Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), came down heavily on activists who protested outside his house saying they crossed the line.

Fox News reported that the activists and consumer groups protested outside Pai’s home on Monday with cardboard signs mentioning his children.

One such board asks if this is the world he wants his children to “inherit.” Another one sign said,”They will come to know the truth. Dad murdered democracy in cold blood.”

The activists were protesting against Pai’s statement last week that he is considering rolling back the net neutrality regulations enacted by the Obama administration by providing the right to internet companies to decide which websites their customers can see and use.

Pai said the demonstrations crossed all the limits and they should stop harassing him at home.

“It certainly crosses a line with me,” Pai told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” on Monday. “Families … should remain out of it and stop harassing us at our homes. … It was a little nerve-racking, especially for my wife who’s not involved in this space,” he added.

Pai’s statement last week has again led to discussions about net neutrality and the rights of internet users.

“Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet,” F.C.C. chairman Ajit Pai said in his statement last week. “Instead, the F.C.C. would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them.”

Internet companies are concerned about the power of telecom companies to control information and entertainment once the rules come into effect. But, telecom companies argue that the new rules are necessary since the existing regulation prevents them from offering customers a wider selection of services at higher and lower price points.

Many including well-known Indian Americans have raised their voice against the decision of the FCC.

“We need stronger net neutrality laws that ban most forms of zero rating instead of weakening these laws!” tweeted Indian-American Congressman from Silicon Valley Ro Khanna.

He said the commission is giving corporations “even more control over the media, paving the way for megamergers like Sinclair-Tribune”. “We have to fight for less consolidation to save our democracy,” he added.

Senator Kamala Harris said the law will give broadband providers the chance to unreasonably interfere with lawful content.

“Our message has been clear: broadband providers must not be allowed to tilt the playing field by blocking or throttling their competitors, prioritizing their offerings, or otherwise unreasonably interfering with lawful content,” she said.

The rules are expected to get approval during a meeting on Dec. 14. The commission has three Republican members including Pai and two Democrats.

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