AT&T calls for ‘Internet Bill of Rights’ to end censorship by Facebook, Google

On Wednesday, Breitbart reported that telecommunications giant AT&T has called on Congress to implement an “Internet Bill of Rights” that would take direct aim at censorship on platforms like Facebook and Google.

According to Breitbart:

AT&T, one of the largest telecommunications companies, called for Congress to enact an “Internet Bill of Rights” which would subject Facebook, Google, and other content providers to rules that would prevent unfair censorship on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Comcast or AT&T as well as content providers such as Facebook and Google.

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AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson wroteCongressional action is needed to establish an ‘Internet Bill of Rights’ that applies to all internet companies and guarantees neutrality, transparency, openness, non-discrimination and privacy protection for all internet users.”

Stephenson posted the ad in the New York Times, Washington Post, and other national news outlets on Wednesday.

The report adds:

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai repealed the agency’s 2015 net neutrality order which prohibited ISPs from blocking, throttling, or discriminating against content. Proponents of net neutrality argue that America needs the regulation to prevent ISPs such as Comcast or AT&T from unfairly blocking or censoring the Internet, however, the FCC and Breitbart News’s Allum Bokhari argued that under net neutrality, content providers such as Facebook and Google have censored the Internet, stifled conservative and alternative voices, and serve as a greater threat to free speech compared to ISPs.

In one speech in 2017, Pai specially called out the censorship of Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s (R-TN) pro-life ad, which was blocked by Twitter for “inflammatory speech.”

The FCC’s “Restoring Internet Freedom Order,” which repealed net neutrality, also required that ISPs disclose their practices on blocking, throttling, and content discrimination.

Rep. Marsha  Blackburn, R-Tenn., introduced the Open Internet Preservation Act, which would enshrine the principles of a free and open Internet after the FCC repealed the net neutrality rules, Breitbart said.  Although the measure has 25 co-sponsors (all of whom are Republicans), it continues to languish, having been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on December 19, 2017.

She also suggested that Congress discuss the idea of requiring content providers like Facebook and Google to similar transparency requirements about their blocking and censorship practices in an exclusive interview with Breitbart.

“They can block a campaign video and they can block Chairman Pai, but they will not block sex traffickers?” she asked.

Of course, Facebook does much more than that as we’ve reported here many times.  Joe Newby, our own editor-in-chief and American-Israeli Adina Kutnicki exposed the social media giant in their one-of-a-kind book, “Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad.”

You can see more of our coverage on Facebook here.

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