CBIT Amicus Brief: FCC Net Neutrality Rules Violate First Amendment

Haymarket, VA, August 6, 2015 – Today the Center for Boundless Innovation in Technology filed an amicus brief in U.S. Telecom v. FCC, the court case that will determine the lawfulness of the net neutrality rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission earlier this year. The brief makes the following arguments:

  • For First Amendment purposes, a broadband provider is indistinguishable from a printing press, a newspaper, a broadcaster, and a cable operator.
  • The net neutrality rules restrict the ability of providers to exercise any degree of discretion over their transmission of political speech, they compel them to carry the speech of all others, and they favor the speech of other Internet companies over broadband providers’ own speech.
  • Favoritism toward or against certain similarly situated speakers and the suppression of certain speech—the bottom line proposition of the FCC’s net neutrality rules—is never an important government interest.
  • The FCC failed to establish that the claimed harms are substantial or that they will further the FCC’s claimed interests.
  • That the Rules violate the First Amendment does not mean traditional common carrier regulation is constitutionally suspect.

You can download the entire brief HERE.