Sen. Al Franken, a vocal proponent of net neutrality, resigns – CNET


Al Franken will depart the Senate in the coming weeks. 

Alex Wong, Getty Images

Sen. Al Franken, a Democrat from Minnesota, said he was set to resign in the coming weeks. 

The announcement, made on Thursday, comes amid allegations of inappropriate touching from several women. In his statement on the Senate floor, Franken apologized for the behavior, but denied some of the claims. 

“Let me be clear, I may be resigning my seat but I am not giving up my voice,” Franken said “I will continue to stand up for the things I believe in as a citizen and as an activist.”

Franken was one of the most high profile and vocal senators on key technology and media issues, and was notably a strong supporter for stricter net neutrality rules, which govern the concept that companies have to treat all internet traffic equally. His looming departure comes as the Federal Communications Commission is set to roll back the existing net neutrality rules in the name of removing regulations on companies to spur investment. 

He was also one of the key opponents and critics of the trend of continued consolidation, including Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal. 

Franken was one of the key figures in the Senate Intelligence Committee who grilled Facebook, Google and Twitter over Russia’s influence over the elections and our political discourse. He was particularly heated over the companies’ willingness to take Russian rubles for ads. 

“You can’t put together rubles with a political ad and say, ‘Hmm, those two data points spell something bad?'” he asked during a hearing in October.

While he has served as a US senator for eight years, many still recognize him for his time as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live.”

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