POLITICAL ARENA

Engel powerless to protect net neutrality

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Eliot Engel wants to protect net neutrality. But unfortunately, even as a congressman, there might not be much he can do about it.

“Net neutrality is a critical protection for consumers, one that prevents internet service providers from charging extra for certain websites and data usage,” Engel said, in a release. 

“Without net neutrality, an ISP could decide to institute a tiered system for your internet access, blocking websites like Netflix, and forcing you to pay extra to use them. Repealing net neutrality rules would also allow those same ISPs to throttle — or slow down — your internet access if it suits them, or offer other consumers who are willing to pay more priority access to certain parts of the web.”

News outlets started reporting last week that the FCC, chaired by Ajit Pai, would move to weaken net neutrality, which has been in place since the FCC first took on broadband access as a telecommunications service in 2015.

A lot of the opposition to removing net neutrality rules has made its way to social media sites, prompting Pai to claim on Tuesday that Twitter was biased, according to Reuters.

“When it comes to open internet, Twitter is part of the problem,” he said. “The company has a viewpoint and uses that viewpoint to discriminate.”

The FCC is set to vote on the measure Dec. 14.

Engel says millions of people have spoken out against repealing net neutrality, but that the FCC — and, by extension, the Trump administration — has ignored those cries.

 

A soft, gentle nudge from Sen. Jeff Klein

He’s been quick to accuse opponents of his Independent Democratic Conference -as being a small group of people mostly outside his district. But it seems state Sen. Jeffrey Klein isn’t opposed to some staging himself.

Sylvia Lask emailed a letter to the editor to The Riverdale Press on Nov. 20, praising Klein as a true Democrat and blasting senate minority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

What she forgot to do, however, was delete the email that appears to have prompted her to write in the first place. That email, dated the Friday before, is from Kenneth Garger, a former New York Post reporter who now works as a spokesman for Klein. 

Garger shared with Lask a link to a Nov. 16 story about an anti-IDC rally at Lehman College that appeared in The Press, and concluded the note with “we appreciate all of your help.”

Neither Garger nor Lask returned requests for comment on this small oversight, and Lask’s letter appears in this week’s Opinion page.

In the meantime, senate Democrats appear ready to offer Klein a deal to re-merge the IDC with his old party, according to Newsday, potentially offering him a co-leadership position in a new Democratic majority.

No word if Klein will take Democrats up on the offer.

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