Continuing the theme of regime change, current FCC boss Ajit Pai has announced he’ll be stepping down on inauguration day. Pai has led the FCC for the last four years and has become somewhat of a controversial figure in regards to his tenure. There has been no word on who will take his place, but his decision to step down could hardly be seen as a surprise.
Pai’s entire tenure could be summed up around issues concerning net neutrality and how he vehemently opposed it. Pai voted to strike down net neutrality back in 2017, giving internet providers free rein to utilize “internet fast lanes.” By ignoring the consumer with this ruling, Pai and company placed unchecked power in the hands of ISPs and giant media companies.
Pai was also controversial in his actions when he chose to block an inquiry into the agency’s use of fake and or dead people to bolster support for policies pushed by the Trump administration. The FCC is also currently looking into moving forward on an executive order from President Trump that protects social media companies from liability for posts made by users. If Pai’s replacement is chosen by President-Elect Joe Biden and happens to be Democrat, it is unlikely we’ll see any movement on the order.
Despite his less than popular decisions during his time atop the agency, Pai is still a history maker in his own right. He was the first Asian-American appointed to the post and was twice confirmed by Mitch McConnell.