WASHINGTON, D.C. – A firestorm erupted on Twitter Tuesday, as two top Republican members of Congress attacked Twitter for blocking an AT&T blog post critical of the Obama administration “Net Neutrality” rules on July 12, the day a Soros-funded coalition of Internet content giants including Google, Facebook, Amazon, and PornHub had declared “A Day of Action to Protect Net Neutrality.”
At issue is a blog post authored by AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs Bob Quinn, affirming AT&T’s support of an open Internet but objecting to the Obama administration “Net Neutrality” rules that were based on FCC regulation of the telephone industry.
“For more than a decade, whether under a Democratic or Republican administration, AT&T has supported the need for clear and enforceable open internet rules,” Quinn wrote. “We supported the efforts of Republican FCC Chairmen to introduce the nation’s first Open Internet Principles. And we welcomed FCC Chairman Genachowski’s Open Internet Order in 2010 and testified before Congress, as a Democratic witness, in support of it.”
Quinn distinguished why AT&T felt the Obama administration “Net Neutrality” rules were heavy-handed.
“Unfortunately, in 2015, then-FCC Chairman Wheeler abandoned this carefully crafted framework and instead decided to subject broadband service to an 80-year-old law designed to set rates in the rotary-dial-telephone era,” Quinn stressed.
“Saddling modern broadband infrastructure and investment decisions with heavy-handed, outdated telephone regulations creates an environment of market uncertainty that does little to advance internet openness. Instead, it jeopardizes the prospects for continued innovation and robust growth we have witnessed since the internet’s creation,” he concluded.
As reported by Tony Romm, Senior Editor, Policy and Politics for Recode.net, those who sought to share the AT&T blog post could not do so on Twitter.
“For a time, the site marked the link as suspicious and blocked new tweets containing it,” Romm noted.
“That immediately led to cries of censorship, given Twitter’s public participation in the day of action in support of net neutrality — and on the opposite side of the debate from AT&T,” Romm continued, reporting that a Twitter spokesman at the time said the link was “erroneously caught in Twitter’s anti-spam filters”.
The controversy led GOP Senators Ron Johnson and Roy Blunt to write a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Tuesday, July 25, calling the incident “disturbing.”
The letter read in part as follows:
- “We share the goal of preserving an open internet where blocking, censorship, and throttling of legal content is prohibited. We are deeply troubled that, if true, one of the internet’s biggest platforms blocked AT&T when it voiced support for a legislative solution to preserve a free and open internet, preferring that to continued regulatory uncertainty at the Federal Communications Commission.
- “We hope that Twitter and other technology companies will partner with Congress on a real solution to codify open internet principles. You do not need a day of action to get Republicans to the negotiating table. We sit ready and waiting for a real, factually informed discussion.”
On July 11, Sen. Johnson had posted a tweet saying, “I would reiterate my support for a free and open Internet, but I don’t want @Twitter to block me.”
Johnson copied Federal Communication (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, a Trump appointee aiming to repeal the Obama administration “Net Neutrality” rules, while shifting Internet regulation to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) where he believes anti-trust and privacy rules are more properly suited to keep the Internet free and open.
The letter penned by Senators Johnson and Blunt came the same day Greg Walden, GOP leader of the tech-focused House Energy and Commerce Committee, invited the CEOs of Alphabet, Facebook, AT&T, Comcast, Amazon, Netflix, and Verizon to testify before his committee at a newly announced September 7 hearing focused on new legislation Congress might craft to replace the Obama administration “Net Neutrality” Rules.
On July 13, Infowars.net reported that the Soros-funded pro-censorship group had partnered with the salacious website PornHub to fight to keep in place the Obama administration “Net Neutrality” Rules had organized a “BOT” campaign to flood the FCC with “AstroTurf”-generated form letters, hundreds of thousands with addresses from Russia, Germany, and France – all countries where the Internet is not regulated by the FCC.
As Infowars.com has repeatedly explained, “Net Neutrality” rules only impose fairness standards on the ISPs, like AT&T and Verizon – the Internet switches through which users connect to the Internet – while not applying to Google, Facebook, and Twitter – the giant Internet content providers – who remain free under “Net Neutrality” rules to censor conservative and libertarian websites like Infowars.com.
The PornHub website lists thousands of videos dealing with the brutal rape, violence, and torture of women, even including “snuff” themes.
Infowars.com previously reported on July 4, the non-profit citizen group Free Our Internet (FOI) has launched a new campaign allowing individuals to post a comment on the FCC website combating Soros-funded efforts by big government, Silicon Valley monopolies and the tech-left to hijack the Internet by urging the FCC to keep in place the Obama-era “Net Neutrality” censorship rules.