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Robin Groulx / Axios

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has fired the starting gun for rolling back the Obama-era's signature tech policy: strict net neutrality rules.

The argument: Pai's says his path forward will be better for competition, for the economy and for consumer access and privacy — and get rid of regulations that weren't needed in the first place. "Nothing about the internet was broken in 2015," he said about the current rules. "No, it was all about politics."

Pai's plan:

  • Reverse utility-style regulation for broadband providers and eliminate a broad conduct standard that gives the FCC authority to intervene in ISP behavior on case-by-case basis.
  • Ask for public comment on how the FCC should approach the rules banning internet providers from slowing or blocking content and from creating fast lanes.

The other side: Democratic policymakers, left-leaning groups and the tech industry aren't letting the rules go down without a fight.

What's next: The commission will vote on whether to formally consider his proposal — allowing the public to comment on his plan — at the agency's May meeting. A second vote will be required before any changes to take effect. He says he believes that will happen by the end of the year.

Go deeper

Statue of KKK leader removed from side of Tennessee highway

Members of the Fraternal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan participate in Nathan Bedford Forrest Birthday march. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A statue of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, was removed Tuesday from the side of a highway in Nashville, Tennessee.

Why it matters: The move to take down the 25-foot statue comes amid renewed scrutiny of Confederate memorials. Dozens of Confederate symbols have been removed, relocated or renamed since George Floyd's death last year.

Women politicians are under siege

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Kevin Dietsch, Stefani Reynolds, and Alex Wong/Getty Images

Women in Congress feel besieged and singled-out amid surging threats against lawmakers at all levels, with some frustrated more hasn't been done to halt the trend.

Why it matters: As record numbers of American women are being elected to public office, their growing political power is being met with death and rape threats, sexist and racist abuse and online disinformation. Collectively, it's discouraged women from running for office.

New report hits DOJ over lack of police shooting data

Demonstrations followed the shooting of Dijon Kizzee by Los Angeles Sheriff's deputies in 2020. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

A new government accountability report says the Department of Justice failed to consistently publish an annual summary of police excessive force data from 2016 to 2020, as required by federal law.

Why it matters: The data is crucial for the DOJ to monitor excessive force cases, and used to investigate law enforcement agencies with patterns of abuse. The DOJ can pivot off it to pursue court action to force reforms.