Skip to Content
Computing

Net neutrality gets a thumbs-up from US senators, but it still looks doomed

Scheduled to disappear on June 11, the rules have become a political flashpoint.

The good news: The US Senate voted to overturn a December decision by the Federal Communications Commission to scrap Obama-era “net neutrality” rules, which prevent internet service providers like AT&T and Comcast from blocking or slowing down selected web traffic. Ars Technica  reports that three Republican senators voted along with Democrats today to support the rules.

The bad news: The House of Representatives will now vote on the issue, and the Republican majority there isn’t inclined to slap down the FCC. If, by some miracle, the vote turns out to be in favor of net neutrality, President Trump could still veto Congress’s attempt to stop its demise.

Why this matters: Unwinding net neutrality will be toxic for innovation in America because large companies with deep pockets can easily pay for faster traffic, leaving startups at a disadvantage. The ISPs say they’ll self-regulate, but don’t hold your breath. The temptation to profit from two-speed systems—and to favor their own web content over that of rivals—will be too strong for them to resist.

 

Deep Dive

Computing

Erik Prince wants to sell you a “secure” smartphone that’s too good to be true

MIT Technology Review obtained Prince’s investor presentation for the “RedPill Phone,” which promises more than it could possibly deliver.

Corruption is sending shock waves through China’s chipmaking industry

The arrests of several top semiconductor fund executives could force the government to rethink how it invests in the sector.

Inside the software that will become the next battle front in US-China chip war

The US has moved to restrict export of EDA software. What is it, and how will the move affect China?

Hackers linked to China have been targeting human rights groups for years

In a new report shared exclusively with MIT Technology Review, researchers expose a cyber-espionage campaign on “a tight budget” that proves simple can still be effective.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.