U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a Republican presidential candidate, has introduced legislation that would overturn the Federal Communications Commission's recent net neutrality rules.
Paul on Wednesday introduced a resolution of disapproval, a move that allows Congress to review new federal regulations from government agencies, using an expedited legislative process.
Paul, of Kentucky, joins House of Representatives Republicans, who introduced their own resolution of disapproval earlier in April. Both bills are largely symbolic. While resolutions of disapproval cannot be filibustered, or blocked, by minority Democrats in the Senate, President Barack Obama would almost certainly veto the efforts.
Paul said he doesn't want the FCC regulate the Internet. The net neutrality rules prohibit broadband providers from selectively blocking or slowing Web traffic and from charging websites and services for prioritized access to customers, but the rules do not regulate Internet content.
"This regulation by the FCC is a textbook example of Washington's desire to regulate anything and everything and will do nothing more than wrap the Internet in red-tape," Paul said in a statement. "The Internet has successfully flourished without the heavy hand of government interference."
Digital rights group Free Press slammed Paul for introducing the resolution, saying he's ignoring the wishes of millions of U.S. residents who support the rules.
"Senator Paul has no idea what Net Neutrality is," Matt Wood, the group's policy director, said by email. "His opposition to common-sense open Internet principles shows how little he knows or cares about the law and the overwhelming support these rules have from businesses, innovators, and individual Internet users."
Paul and other opponents of net neutrality rules "have sided with the phone and cable lobby and against the open Internet," Wood added.
Broadband providers and ISP trade groups have filed seven lawsuits challenging the net neutrality rules.
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is email@example.com.
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