First Republican defies her party's scheme to censor the internet


Trump's FCC recently announced a plan to do away with net neutrality rules, which ensure a free and open internet. But Republican Sen. Susan Collins is not going along with it.

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins has no intention of aiding her party's dangerous scheme to censor the internet and roll back protections for free and open debate.

Ajit Pai, Donald Trump's Federal Communications Commission chair, recently announced a decision to do away with net neutrality rules, which serve as the "internet's guiding principle" regarding free speech and open access.

As the Washington Post noted, this move would "give internet providers broad powers to determine what websites and online services their customers can see and use." And New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accused the FCC of stonewalling his office's six-month investigation into the agency's "massive scheme" to sway public opinion on the issue their way.


Of course, the major broadband corporations — like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast — support such an anti-consumer move, as do many in the Republican Party.

But Collins has stepped forward to defend the internet and its users from this dangerous new policy — the first and thus far only member of her party to do so.

Collins' spokesperson Annie Clark noted that the senator opposes the scheme to roll back net neutrality because it would allow internet providers to "manage their system in an anti-competitive way that limits consumers' choices."

Collins is also concerned that the FCC's move would hinder the spread of accessible broadband in rural areas.

Evan Greer, campaign director for Fight for the Future, an open internet advocacy organization, thanked Collins for "having the courage to speak out," and urged her Republican colleagues to follow her example.

Collins has often diverged from her party when it goes too far to the right in ways that would bring serious harm to the nation and its people.

Protecting the crucial principle of free and open access to the internet is another example of Collins putting her own party on the spot when it comes to putting the rights of the people first.