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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

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.

Biden Cabinet confirmation schedule: When to watch hearings

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

The first hearings for President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations begin on Tuesday, with testimony from his picks to lead the departments of State, Homeland and Defense.

Why it matters: It's been a slow start for a process that usually takes place days or weeks earlier for incoming presidents. The first slate of nominees will appear on Tuesday before a Republican-controlled Senate, but that will change once the new Democratic senators-elect from Georgia are sworn in.