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Net neutrality protesters. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Tech and its allies in the net neutrality fight aren’t pleased with AT&T’s ad blitz arguing they should be subject to neutrality requirements, too.

Real talk: For now the two sides of this debate are talking past each other, so the ads and tech's response are political theatre.

  • “It is impossible to believe that AT&T is serious when they have such a long track record opposing consumer protections like net neutrality,” said Noah Theran, a spokesman for the trade group Internet Association that represents Google and Facebook.
  • “Online platforms like Google, Facebook and Amazon wield tremendous power,” said Matt Wood from Free Press. “But no matter how much it wants to pretend otherwise, when a company like AT&T connects you to the internet, that’s not the same thing as the information and content you find online.”

While ISPs would no doubt enjoy the certainty of legislation, they’ve already gotten what they want in the FCC’s repeal of the last net neutrality rules. And tech and the left have already decided on a near-term path forward.

  • They’ll sue to block the FCC repeal in federal court.
  • They’ll try and block it in Congress through a longshot resolution under the Congressional Review Act.
  • Democratic governors and state legislatures are moving to make net neutrality rules a reality at the state level. Governors in New York and Montana signed orders this week that would apply net neutrality rules to ISPs that worked with the state. Those could also be challenged in court.

Go deeper

Texas House probes school library books dealing with race and sexuality

Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Texas state Rep. Matt Krause (R), chair of the Texas House Committee on General Investigating, announced Wednesday that he's initiating a probe into schools' library books, according to a letter sent to the state's education agency and other superintendents.

Why it matters: The probe focuses on books that discuss race, sexuality, or "make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex," Krause wrote in the letter.

4 hours ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).