Feb 29, 2016 ยท 2 minutes

Given everything else that’s at stake in the upcoming election, if feels almost trite to mention net neutrality.

And yet late last week, two of the current Republican presidential hopefuls -- Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio -- took time out of campaigning to introduce a bill killing the FCC’s year-old  net neutrality ruling. Not only will the bill, which is also signed by former candidate Rand Paul, strike down net neutrality but it’ll prevent the FCC from ever imposing it again.

Rubio published a press release trumpeting the legislation, which is called the “Restoring Internet Freedom Act”:

“The Internet has always been one of the best models of the free market,” said Rubio. “There are low barriers to entry, back and forth communication between consumers and providers, and a rapid evolution of ideas.

“Through burdensome regulations and tight control like the net neutrality rule, the government only hinders accessibility and the diversity of content,” added Rubio. “Consumers should be driving the market, and we can help by encouraging innovation, incentivizing investment, and promoting the competitive environment this industry needs.”

A PDF of the legislation is available here. The Restoring Internet Freedom Act would:

  • Nullify the FCC’s net neutrality rule, and

  • Prohibit the FCC from reissuing or constructing a new rule that is substantially the same.

I’ve written about Rubio’s opposition to net neutrality before, and the fact that it hasn’t stopped Valley figures like Scott Banister dubbing the Senator “one of us.” This latest legislation makes clear that a win for Rubio or Cruz in November will put us one step closer to corporate control of what we see, and how we see it. Or as certain Republicans call it: Freedom.

You might be wondering where frontrunner and Klan-favourite Donald Trump stands on the issue. Fortunately Mr Trump has tweeted details of his policy:  

"Obama's attack on the internet is another top down power grab. Net neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine. Will target the conservative media."

It hopefully goes without saying that Net Neutrality doesn’t have the first thing to do with the fairness doctrine, which was about ensuring balance in news coverage. Mr Trump appears to believe Net Neutrality means that everything published online has to be neutral. It’s not clear how his hatred of the government interfering with new coverage fits with his proposal to toss out the first amendment and make it easier to sue journalists over critical reporting into politicians.

Anyway, here’s that video of Donald Trump refusing to condemn the KKK, and one of Chris Christie eating his own foot. Happy Monday everyone!