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Net neutrality could be on the line in Washington court battle

Stephen Lawson | Dec. 7, 2015
FCC faces 10 lawsuits against its new rules.

The plaintiffs are also expected to argue that the rules violate service providers' First Amendment rights to free expression by forcing them to carry other parties' content with the same performance they give their own. And they may say the agency violated the Fifth Amendment by taking their property for public use without "just compensation."

In addition to the FCC, net neutrality backers will be in court Friday to argue in favor of the rules. Consumer group Free Press said Thursday it would represent nearly two dozen advocacy groups and tech industry leaders there. It cited the First Amendment as a reason to keep the new rules in place.

"These providers want you to think that the First Amendment gives them the freedom to act like the Internet's editors, with the right to censor all content that crosses their wires," Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood said in a statement. That's a dangerous misreading of the constitution, he said, because carriers are supposed to enable connections without editing what goes over them.

 

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