Julian Assange Tries to Save Net Neutrality With Rambling Appeal to Trump's Paranoia

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Julian Assange—whose organization Wikileaks’ sad, thirsty Twitter DMs to Donald Trump Jr. recently leaked, revealing he sought to coordinate with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign—appears to have had a moment of buyer’s regret on Tuesday evening.

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Upon hearing the Republican-controlled FCC had finally scheduled a vote to scrap Barack Obama-era net neutrality rules, potentially enriching massive digital conglomerates at the expense of the open web, some brief glimmer of the old Assange seemed to spark back to life. But not really very brightly, as he was only able to express his opposition to the White House-backed change in the form of convoluted pretzel logic posited as a Machiavellian 4-dimensional chess move.

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“Dear @realDonaldTrump,” Assange wrote. “‘Net neutrality’ of some form is important. Your opponents control most internet companies. Without neutrality they can make your tweets load slowly, CNN load fast and infest everyone’s phones with their ads. Careful.”

As Assange has continued to hole up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for years while attempting to avoid extradition, Wikileaks has largely fallen apart and his originally stated mission of radical transparency has increasingly given way to bizarre pro-Trump ramblings, suspiciously biased editorial decisions, and Twitter braggadocio.

To Assange’s credit, while appealing to the president’s manically paranoid psychology is not actually how public policy decisions should be made, that is one of the few approaches capable of grabbing his attention. Anti-trust advocates may have won a similar victory recently when Trump’s Department of Justice sued to block a (very bad for the public interest) merger between AT&T and Time Warner, possibly because Trump hates Time Warner subsidiary CNN with an unholy passion.

Alas, Assange is still probably barking up the wrong tree. Pai’s agency is ostensibly independent, and Pai is very committed to repealing the neutrality rules, so even the unlikely event of a last-minute pivot from the White House might not be enough to blunt his momentum. It’s yet even less likely that Republicans in Congress, who are broadly anti-net neutrality, would be willing to override the FCC to bring back an Obama-era directive.

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"... An upperclassman who had been researching terrorist groups online." - Washington Post

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DISCUSSION

99telepodproblems
99TelepodProblems

You know who was for Net Neutrality, Julian? Hillary Clinton. But you and the shadowy Kremlin forces who pulled your strings did everything you could to make sure Donnie Two-Scoops won the contest.

Not quite sure what you thought you would get out of it. Maybe that US ambassadorship you were angling for?

Everything Trump touches turns to shit and you sold out your entire credibility to a bunch of gilded plunder monkeys who will throw you and anything you care about under the bus if it serves them.

I guess maybe you thought Trump could be a tool to shock and bring down the system. All it has done is made the system more diseased, more toxic and more corrupt.

Good job, mate!