In the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules,
II. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY, A. Strong Rules That Protect Consumers from Past and Future Tactics that Threaten the Open Internet, 1. Clear, Bright-Line Rules, 15. No Blocking:
Consumers who subscribe to a retail broadband Internet access service must get what they have paid for—access to all (lawful) destinations on the Internet. This essential and well-accepted principle has long been a tenet of Commission policy, stretching back to its landmark decision in Carterfone, which protected a customer’s right to connect a telephone to the monopoly telephone network.16 Thus, this Order adopts a straightforward ban:A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or nonharmful devices, subject to reasonable network management.
Spam, popup ads, and most malware are neither illegal nor harmful to your computer or mobile device; they’re just annoying. Some broadband providers, especially those that offer email services, provide this additional service to their customers to make their Internet experience more enjoyable.
But under the FCC’s new Net Neutrality rules, it may be illegal for ISPs to do this from now on, and we may start seeing lawsuits filed by advertisers and software companies that have had their ads or software blocked at the ISP before ever reaching the customers’ computers.
Read the Net Neutrality rules yourself, downloaded from the FCC’s web site in three formats: PDF | Word | Text