Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Protesting Biker 'Throttles' Traffic Outside the FCC Headquarters

A video-shooting, bike-riding protestor's 'throttling' of traffic outside FCC headquarters is once-again drawing attention to the FCC's decision to roll-back so-called net neutrality rules. Creative protests are an American tradition, as is increasingly slow-moving traffic in major cities. Put the two together and you get a potent and, depending on your point of view, humorous or annoyingly aggravating protest.

Blissfully Aware of the Irony

Rob Bliss, a digital video producer, recently took his protest to the streets of Washington. While marches and signs are recognizable protesting methods, Bliss elected to mount his bike and slow-pedal around the FCC's headquarters.

Blocking traffic and putting out cones, Bliss offered motorists "priority access" to the road for $5 a month. You can check out his YouTube video capturing the protest for yourself.

Perhaps not surprisingly, no one ponied up the money for priority access to a public street. Though FCC security, D.C. Police, and Department of Homeland Security officers took some professional interest in his efforts, repeatedly making (somewhat halfhearted) efforts to remove his cones from the road and talk him out of his traffic-disrupting ways.

What Is Net Neutrality, Again?

Net neutrality represents the idea that internet service providers (ISPs) shouldn't be able to restrict internet access based on a user's internet plan or the provider's preferences for making online content available. The Obama-era regulations, repealed last December, prohibited Comcast, AT&T, and similar ISPs from blocking or slowing access or charging more for some internet content.

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