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Net neutrality protestors. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The first lawsuits challenging the FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules were filed Thursday, kicking off the next battle over how internet service providers handle the web traffic coursing through their networks.

Why now? The FCC's repeal was finally published in the Federal Register Thursday, which opened the floodgates to lawsuits and started the clock on a congressional effort to undo the FCC's decision.

What's happening in court:

  • A wide range of companies, state attorneys general and advocacy groups are trying to reverse the repeal. Mozilla, Public Knowledge, the Open Technology Institute, Vimeo and a group of state attorneys general were among those who filed suit Thursday.
  • Internet Association, which represents Facebook, Google, Snap, Microsoft and others, says it plans to intervene on their behalf in the courts.

What's happening in Congress:

A resolution to roll back the repeal and re-instate net neutrality rules is one lawmaker shy of having the support it needs to pass the Senate when Democrats force a vote on it later this year.

  • That measure is unlikely, however, to pass in the House or be signed by President Trump. Congress has 60 legislative days to take action on the issue — and activists are pushing lawmakers they think might be on the fence to support the measure.
  • "The FCC and Chairman [Ajit] Pai just triggered a timeline that will culminate in a Senate vote on my resolution, and we cannot let up until we win," said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who is leading the resolution.
  • At a press conference on Thursday, Pai declined to comment on the agency’s plan for dealing with the legislation.

What's happening in the states:

  • Some state lawmakers are also trying to pass their own net neutrality rules, crossing into murky legal territory because the FCC has said its repeal pre-empts state law.
  • Governors have also issued orders saying that internet service providers that do business with their states have to comply with net neutrality principles.

What’s next?: The repeal is expected to take full effect later this year, after the Office of Management and Budget reviews part of the proposal.

Go deeper

Live list: The "Facebook Papers" arrive

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Reports based on leaked whistleblower documents from Facebook, known as the Facebook Papers, appeared in a broad range of news outlets Monday, shedding light on what company knew about harms caused on its platform and how it handled that information.

Why it matters: The reports paint a detailed picture of Facebook's efforts over the years to grapple with major problems — from hate speech to inciting violence — while continuing to pursue its business objectives.

U.S. will now allow private citizens to sponsor Afghan refugees

A family boards a bus at the airport that will take them to a refugee processing center after being evacuated from Kabul. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Americans wanting to help vulnerable Afghan refugees now have a new way to get involved through a new U.S. private refugee sponsorship program announced Monday.

  • Groups of at least 5 adults can apply, complete background checks and start fundraising the $2,275 per refugee required.

Why it matters: It’s a big shift in the U.S refugee process, which has long relied on non-profits.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
59 mins ago - Energy & Environment

What we’re watching during the final countdown to COP26

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

This is shaping up as a critical week for climate policy in the U.S. and worldwide.

Driving the news: Democrats are in the final stages of trying to craft the big social spending and climate package they're trying to move on a thread-the-needle party-line vote.