Austin, Texas — Derrick Crowe, candidate for U.S. Congress in the 21st District of Texas, used his public remarks at a candidate forum on Monday night to decry assaults on Net Neutrality and online privacy by President Donald Trump and U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas. Crowe is running to replace Smith in 2018.
“Corporations like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast are using Trump and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to to strangle competition and raise prices on consumers,” Crowe said. “We need a representative that will stand up to this corporate bullying, but instead, we have Lamar Smith, who takes their money and carries their water. That’s going to change in 2018.”
Crowe pointed to Smith’s recent vote to allow cable companies to sell users’ personal Internet histories to third parties without consent or notice, as well as his push to pass SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, as evidence that Smith sides with big corporations instead of standing up for constituents. Crowe has launched an online petition to allow Central Texans to register their displeasure at the assault on their online rights.
“Attacks on Net Neutrality and online privacy are prime examples of the kind of corporate bullying we expect our representatives to squash,” Crowe continued. “Unfortunately, too many elected officials seem to think they are in Washington, D.C. to chase PAC dollars.”
Crowe pledged to decline any corporate PAC donations to his campaign.
Net Neutrality backers celebrated a win on Monday as a federal appeals court declined to review a previous ruling that left in place Obama-era Net Neutrality protections. However, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has indicated he will move to gut Net Neutrality this month, raising the specter of Internet providers suppressing content from competitors and raising prices for consumers.
“The Internet should be treated as a utility, which is exactly what the Obama-era FCC regulations did,” Crowe added. “Our modern economy relies on the Internet to function, as do our political systems. Net Neutrality is non-negotiable. It’s essential to preserving our liberties in the modern world.”