With the likely confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, his opponents have been looking for chinks in his armor.
Most of them fear the conservative judge will rule against their interests if he is confirmed. Hundreds were protesting outside the Supreme Court even before the president nominated him.
But as others watched from the sidelines, some tech types saw something that was there all the time. It looks like Kavanaugh hates net neutrality.
Net Neutrality Is Dead
Kavanaugh didn’t kill the open internet, but he gave foreboding opinions about it while serving on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. He twice argued against net neutrality rules from the Obama-era’s Federal Communications Commission.
After President Trump appointed a new FCC chairman, it was only a matter of time before the old rules died. It was good news for internet service providers, but bad news for just about everybody else who cares about bandwidth.
Now ISPs can regulate internet traffic by throttling speeds for some users and charging more for others who want to move faster. Apparently, Kavanaugh thinks that is how it should be.
“The Government must keep its hands off the editorial decisions of Internet service providers,” Kavanaugh wrote in United States Telecom Association v. Federal Communications Commission.
The tech industry is beside itself. Telecom giants like Verizon and Comcast are on one side of the issue; internet titans like Facebook and Google are on the other.
If net neutrality ever goes before the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh may cast a deciding vote. We all know now how that will go.
Of course, he hasn’t been confirmed yet. Which is why tech angst is not virtual — it’s real .