For more information contact: Catherine Thompson 651-296-5499
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted yesterday to eliminate net neutrality rules and to take away Minnesota’s power to protect its own citizens when large Internet and telecommunications companies take, use and sell their private data without the consumer’s consent.
That is wrong! Our Internet should not be up for sale to the highest bidder. Thanks to all of you who spoke out, submitted comments, and organized against these changes.
But we are not without power in the states. We can still hold companies to their commitments to allow the free flow of information over the Internet, to refrain from blocking website and throttling Internet speeds – and protect Minnesota consumers’ privacy.
Last year, I introduced legislation to protect Minnesotans’ Internet privacy by requiring any Internet or telecommunications company which seek state permits, pole attachment agreement, easements, or state contracts to live up to high consumer privacy standards. We should pass that legislation and add a requirement that those companies also live up to basic net neutrality principles.
In addition, we can use the power of the state government as a consumer of Internet and telecommunications services to favor companies that agree to abide by net neutrality principles.
We need to beef up consumer protection laws to fight back against fraud, discrimination and anti-competitive behavior by the dominant Internet and telecommunications companies.
Finally, we should pass my IDEA Act to give a jumpstart to competitors who could provide fair and open services – and generate jobs and wealth right here in Minnesota.
Together we can make sure the Internet which is so central to our economy and democracy remains fair for everyone.
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