Hollow Victory: Supreme Court Won’t Hear Net Neutrality Appeal

The US Supreme Court has ruled that laws protecting net neutrality are legal. Unfortunately, those are the laws that were already scrapped.

Under most circumstances, this would normally be a major victory and a final blow to those wishing to stamp out network neutrality in the US. The US supreme court has decided that it won’t hear the case against network neutrality. From PBS:

The Supreme Court has ended the court fight over repealed Obama-era “net neutrality” rules that required internet providers to treat all online traffic equally.

The court on Monday rejected appeals from the telecommunications industry seeking to throw out a lower court ruling in favor of the “net neutrality” rules.

Under more sane circumstances, this would be the final nail in the coffin for those who want to kill off network neutrality. The effort to kill off the rules protecting consumers would come to an end and this would be marked as the final victory for the Internet and network neutrality. With the Supreme Court refusing to hear the case, the ruling means that the network neutrality laws would stand. That would normally put the ball back into the federal governments court (possibly congress or senate) and let them decide if they really want to open this fight.

Unfortunately, these are not the circumstances American’s live under today.

Donald Trump took office about two years ago. He got Ajit Pai to head the regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). With Republican’s seizing control of the regulator, they immediately set out to scrap the network neutrality rules. Contrary to the will of the American people, the FCC ultimately scrapped the net neutrality rules last December. Many accused Pai of listening more to major ISP Verizon more than experts in the field.

Now, with California backing off of protecting net neutrality, it appears that the fight to save the integrity of the Internet is all but over. With Trump still in the White House and Republican’s retaining control of the Senate and the Supreme Court, the death of network neutrality seem like all but a sure thing at this stage.

In fact, many American’s are already seeing the writing on the wall and are currently fleeing to the safety of VPN providers.

While the mid-terms did offer a glimmer of hope with the Democrats taking back control of Congress, there may not be much they can do to reverse this trend.

At this point, ISPs have already seized the opportunity and have been heavily throttling competing services like Netflix and YouTube. With seemingly so little stopping ISPs from doing further damage to the Internet, it’s likely things will get worse before they get better – assuming things will ever get better in the first place.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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