The White House officially has a duty to respond to a petition for Ajit Pai’s resignations now that the number of signatures has passed the threshold.
More than 100,000 people have called for the Federal Communication Commission chairman to quit over his plans to scrap net neutrality.
The debate is now so heated that trolls are targeting Pai’s family.
Photos of his son are circulating on the internet. He has received calls to his home, and his wife is getting harassed at work by protesters who are phoning her office.
Net neutrality is your right to use the internet freely without big corporations limiting your access.
This basic principal was set in stone by the Obama administration a couple of years back.
But Trump’s FCC is trying to dismantle that. Officials want to tear down net neutrality, essentially creating a pay-to-play arena for big firms wanting a piece of the internet pie.
It means companies like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T could charge websites for delivering their data to consumers’ homes.
They could create fast and slow lanes on the internet, forcing firms to cough up the cash if they want to provide a better service, and making it harder for newcomers who might not have the capital to pay for quicker access.
This could ultimately have a knock-on affect whereby customers could be charged more via packages — much like a phone plan.
Internet providers would also have the power to block websites of competitors, for example.
But Pai argues that the current regulations limits business models, and the big firms agree, saying competition is healthy for the growth of any company.
Scrapping net neutrality also changes the game for Silicon Valley — something Washington is keen to do.
No longer would big players like Facebook, Google and Netflix have majority power over what sort of content is provided.
They argue that telecoms companies should not be able to split websites into fast lanes and slow lanes because it would allow them to become gatekeepers of internet information.
The changes are set to be put to a vote on December 14, and it is likely to get the green light.