A group of 21 of the internet's most esteemed pioneers have written an open letter to the FCC's Congressional overseers that critiques the agency's foolish, self-serving description of how the net works in eye-watering detail.
The signatories including past chairs of ISOC and the IETF, co-inventors of TCP/IP, the inventor of the web, the founder of the first search-engine, the inventor of public-key cryptography, the creators of the world's most widely used cryptographic systems, hypertext pioneers, and the co-founder of Apple, among many others.
The pioneers point out that they provided the FCC with a detailed, unimpeachable technical correction to its memo on how the internet works, and that the FCC — an expert agency legally obliged to consider expert testimony — failed to act on that correction.
The FCC has ignored 23,000,000 public comments endorsing net neutrality on the grounds that they don't represent the "expert feedback" it is obliged to consider. But the FCC also ignores feedback from the world's leading experts when it doesn't suit the telcoms companies the agency is supposed to be regulating.
The pioneers call on Congress to order the FCC to cancel its vote on killing net neutrality and to only hold such a vote after observing the normal order, with hearings, a functional comment system, and a fairminded, reasonable consideration of expert feedback, as befits an expert agency.
The experts' comment was not the only one the FCC ignored. Over 23 million comments have been submitted by a public that is clearly passionate about protecting the Internet. The FCC could not possibly have considered these adequately.
Indeed, breaking with established practice, the FCC has not held a single open public meeting to hear from citizens and experts about the proposed Order.
Furthermore, the FCC's online comment system has been plagued by major problems that the FCC has not had time to investigate. These include bot-generated comments that impersonated Americans, including dead people, and an unexplained outage of the FCC's on-line comment system that occurred at the very moment TV host John Oliver was encouraging Americans to submit comments to the system.
Compounding our concern, the FCC has failed to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests about these incidents and failed to provide information to a New York State Attorney General's investigation of them.
We therefore call on you to urge FCC Chairman Pai to cancel the FCC's vote. The FCC's rushed and technically incorrect proposed Order to abolish net neutrality protections without any replacement is an imminent threat to the Internet we worked so hard to create. It should be stopped.
Internet Pioneers and Leaders Tell the FCC: You Don't Understand How the Internet Works [Pioneers for Net Neutrality]