FCC, FTC partner to police internet if net neutrality is repealed

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The Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission signed an agreement Monday declaring their intent to partner to police the internet once the FCC approves its plan to repeal net neutrality rules.

The FCC is expected to approve a plan Thursday that would end consumer protections prohibiting internet service providers from discriminating against or favoring certain websites, known as net neutrality. Under the proposal — called Restoring Internet Freedom Order — FCC would scrap its rules governing broadband companies and hand authority of the industry over to the FTC.

Now, the FCC and FTC intend to sign a memorandum of understanding that would coordinate online consumer protection efforts following the rules' repeal.

"The [memorandum] will be a critical benefit for online consumers because it outlines the robust process by which the FCC and FTC will safeguard the public interest," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement. "Instead of saddling the Internet with heavy-handed regulations, we will work together to take targeted action against bad actors."

Here are the three parts of the memorandum.

1. The FCC will review complaints of internet service providers' compliance to the transparency rule, which includes publicly providing information on blocking or slowing down certain websites.

2. The FTC will investigate and enforce the accuracy of disclosures to the transparency rule, including other deceptive practices.

3. Both the FCC and the FTC will securely share informal complaints addressing the repeal of net neutrality.

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