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Hawaii lawmakers voice opposition of net neutrality repeal

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    U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard both voiced their opposition of the repeal of Obama-era net neutrality rules by the FCC.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said this morning it is now time to turn tweets into action following the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to repeal net neutrality protections.

“Today, Trump’s FCC dealt a major blow to the free and open internet by repealing net neutrality rules,” said Schatz, a member of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet in a statement. “Because of Chairman Pai and the other Republican commissioners, there are no longer any rules in place to stop internet service providers from changing the internet as we know it. They are now free to block apps, slow websites, or even limit access to certain kinds of content. The best way to move forward is to turn our tweets and our comments into action.”

Schatz, along with U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, had both opposed the rollback of net neutrality.

Gabbard was a strong advocate for net neutrality and had opposed in a speech on Monday that repealing it would “hurt our students, entrepreneurs, working families, and all who rely on the Internet for things like education, healthcare, and employment as a level playing field of opportunity. The FCC must protect the people it’s supposed to be serving—not big, corporate interests—and make sure the Internet remains a place where everyone has a seat at the table.”

This morning, Gabbard tweeted: “#NetNeutrality protects us from corporate censorship of information online. The @FCC must not roll back this rule. We demand an equal, open internet.”

On Wednesday, Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin was one of 18 state attorneys general that asked the FCC to delay its vote today due to concerns about falsified comments.

According to the letter that was sent to the FCC today by the attorneys general, “[a] careful review of the publicly available information revealed a pattern of fake submissions using the names of real people. In fact, there may be over one million fake submissions from across the country. This is akin to identity theft on a massive scale – and theft of someone’s voice in a democracy is particularly concerning.”

The attorneys general of California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont and Washington signed the letter.

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