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HJR 31: Urging the United States Congress to overturn the Federal Communications Commission's order ending net neutrality.

00                       HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 31                                                                     
01 Urging the United States Congress to overturn the Federal Communications                                                
02 Commission's order ending net neutrality.                                                                               
03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
04 WHEREAS, on December 14, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission                                                
05 adopted, by a vote of three to two, an order to reverse the regulations that established the                            
06 federal government's broadband policy of net neutrality and to preempt states from imposing                             
07 net neutrality rules or regulations on Internet service providers; and                                                  
08       WHEREAS 5 U.S.C. 801 - 808 (Congressional Review Act) grants to the United                                      
09 States Congress the authority to overturn the Federal Communications Commission's order                                 
10 and reinstate net neutrality with a simple majority vote of each house, by enacting a joint                             
11 resolution of disapproval introduced not later than 60 legislative days after the Federal                               
12 Communications Commission submits the new rules to the United States Congress; and                                      
13       WHEREAS net neutrality protects an individual's ability to access and transmit                                  
14 information on the Internet by requiring Internet service providers to treat all Internet websites                      
01 equally, regardless of content, source, or business relationship with the Internet service                              
02 provider or others; and                                                                                                 
03 WHEREAS, without net neutrality, Internet service providers can lawfully charge                                       
04 customers higher rates to access certain Internet websites, download music, and watch videos,                           
05 and, under the Federal Communications Commission's new order, an Internet service provider                              
06 may slow down or block access to Internet websites altogether including the Internet websites                           
07 of its competitors; and                                                                                                 
08 WHEREAS the reversal of net neutrality regulations harms small businesses, start up                                   
09 companies, and entrepreneurs who rely on a free and open Internet to conduct business,                                  
10 flourish, and grow; and                                                                                                 
11 WHEREAS, with its action to reverse net neutrality regulations, the Federal                                           
12 Communications Commission has knowingly invited anti-consumer practices and set up an                                   
13 unfair pay-to-play system that may financially reward Internet service providers that                                   
14 discriminate; and                                                                                                       
15 WHEREAS first amendment rights of free speech, free press, and free association are                                   
16 placed at grave risk without a net neutral environment that enables the open flow of citizens'                          
17 thoughts, ideas, and concerns, and ensures that information relied on to form opinions is                               
18 openly accessible; and                                                                                                  
19 WHEREAS a University of Maryland School of Public Policy poll conducted in early                                      
20 December 2017 found that 83 percent of Americans, including 75 percent of Republicans and                               
21 89 percent of Democrats, oppose the Federal Communications Commission's action to reverse                               
22 net neutrality regulations; and                                                                                         
23 WHEREAS the Federal Communications Commission's public process surrounding                                            
24 its reversal of net neutrality was unacceptably flawed, in that, of the over 21,000,000                                 
25 comments received, up to 2,000,000 were linked to stolen identities; nearly 500,000 were                                
26 likely generated from Russian electronic mail addresses; 94 percent were apparently                                     
27 submitted multiple times; 57 percent came from duplicate or temporary addresses; in nine                                
28 separate occurrences, 75,000 identical or similar comments were posted in the same second;                              
29 and the top seven comments made up 38 percent of the submissions; and                                                   
30 WHEREAS Alaska's climate and isolation from the contiguous 48 states require                                          
31 residents of the state to rely heavily on the Internet to connect with each other and to the rest                       
01 of the country and the world to keep in touch with family and for work and education                                    
02 purposes; and                                                                                                           
03 WHEREAS Alaska's remote communities--many of which already struggle to obtain                                         
04 stable, affordable Internet access--appreciate and rely on the principles of net neutrality to                          
05 maintain connectivity to Alaska's urban hubs and beyond; and                                                            
06 WHEREAS, in light of the nature of the challenges residents of the state face without                                 
07 a guarantee of net neutrality, Governor Bill Walker and Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth                                
08 wrote to the Federal Communications Commission on December 13, 2017, requesting the                                     
09 agency to delay its vote on the proposal rolling back net neutrality regulations until the                              
10 integrity of the public process had been adequately investigated; and                                                   
11 WHEREAS many technology companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Amazon,                                                
12 Netflix, and Facebook, oppose the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality                                    
13 order because the companies recognize net neutrality is necessary to ensure a level Internet                            
14 playing field for their customers; and                                                                                  
15 WHEREAS a diverse group of consumer, media, technology, library, arts, civil                                          
16 liberties, and civil rights organizations, including the American Library Association, the                              
17 Association of College and Research Libraries, the Disability Rights Education and Defense                              
18 Fund, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the                                
19 National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low-income clients, and the National                                     
20 Organization for Women, oppose the Federal Communications Commission's reversal of net                                  
21 neutrality regulations;                                                                                                 
22 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports a free and open                                             
23 Internet that is equally accessible to all consumers; and be it                                                       
24 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States                                            
25 Congress to exercise its authority under the Congressional Review Act to overturn the Federal                           
26 Communications Commission's regulatory decision to end net neutrality protections.                                      
27 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Donald J. Trump, President                                   
28 of the United States; the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Dan Sullivan, U.S.                                 
29 Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska                                       
30 delegation in Congress; all other members of the 115th United States Congress; and the                                  
31 presiding officers of the legislatures of each of the other 49 states.