American Oversight Seeks Release of FCC Net Neutrality Communications

Washington, DC – Nonpartisan ethics watchdog American Oversight today opened an investigation into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to roll back the net neutrality rules that protect open access to the internet.

“The internet access of more than 300 million Americans should not be shaped behind closed doors by a handful of high-powered industry lobbyists,” said Austin Evers, Executive Director of American Oversight. “The guiding principle of the internet has been the free and open exchange of ideas and information, and Americans have a right to know who is influencing the FCC and what arguments they’re making.”

Following Pai’s announcement of the policy change on Wednesday, April 26, American Oversight submitted Freedom of Information Act requests seeking records of communications between senior FCC officials and the telecommunications industry, the media, and Congress regarding the net neutrality issue.

American Oversight’s request includes calendars, calendar entries, and records of communications with internet service providers for Pai and FCC leadership, including: Chief of Staff Matthew Berry, Senior Counsel Nicholas Degani, Acting Wire Line Advisor Jay Schwarz, Policy Advisor Nathan Leamer, and Acting Wireless Advisor Rachael Bender. A second FOIA request seeks communications between FCC officials and both Congress and the media to determine if officials are being consistent in their public and private statements about net neutrality.

According to news reports, Pai has been holding meetings with industry groups in recent weeks to discuss his net neutrality proposal, but the FCC has not been willing to release details of those meetings to the public.

Part of Investigation:

Related Blog Posts

May 7, 2018

What’s Going on at Education? Teacher Strikes, School Discipline Policies and For-Profit Influence

Department of Education
Investigation Update
March 9, 2018

American Oversight Sues HHS and CMS for Verma Ethics Records

Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services
General News
February 9, 2018

New Lawsuit Seeks DHS Border Wall Emails with White House, Fox News, Border States

Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security
Investigation Update
November 8, 2017

Statement on Interference in AT&T-Time Warner Merger

Department of Justice
General News
November 3, 2017

American Oversight Launches ‘NAFTA Watch’

Department of Commerce, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
Investigation Update
October 27, 2017

Unexcused Absences: DeVos Calendars Show Frequent Days Off

Department of Education
Investigation Update
October 10, 2017

New Lawsuit Seeks Answers about Ben Carson’s Management of HUD

Department of Housing and Urban Development
Investigation Update
October 6, 2017

American Oversight Calls for Investigation of Manhattan DA Vance’s Failure to Investigate Fraud at Trump SoHo Development

General News
August 30, 2017

Watchdog Groups Launch Joint Investigation into EPA Oversight of Toxic Substances Control Act

Investigation Update
August 18, 2017

Resume Shows Trump Appointee Falsified Credentials

Department of Housing and Urban Development
Investigation Update
July 26, 2017

American Oversight Sues FCC to Obtain Net Neutrality Communications with Industry Groups

Federal Communications Commission
Investigation Update
June 27, 2017

American Oversight Sues EPA to Release Pruitt’s Calendars and Communications with Carl Icahn

Environmental Protection Agency
Investigation Update
June 22, 2017

American Oversight and Environmental Working Group Challenge EPA Over Failure to Release Pesticide Records

Environmental Protection Agency
Investigation Update
April 14, 2017

Statement on White House Decision to Keep Visitor Logs Secret

White House
General News
April 14, 2017

Broad Coalition of Transparency Advocates Call for White House to Release Visitor Logs

White House
General News
April 12, 2017

American Oversight and Environmental Working Group Demand Release of Pruitt Communications with Pesticide Industry

Environmental Protection Agency
Investigation Update
April 4, 2017

10 Questions about the Border Wall that Deserve Big, Beautiful Answers

Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Interior
Investigation Update
March 24, 2017

American Oversight Launches Investigation of President Trump’s Border Wall

Department of Homeland Security
Investigation Update
March 23, 2017

American Oversight Demands Release of Secret Health Care Negotiations

Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Management and Budget
Investigation Update