The battle for the Internet's future continues
An alliance of tech companies including Amazon, Reddit, Vimeo, BitTorrent and Kickstarter is working together as "Team Internet" for a day of action to save net neutrality on July 12th. The efforts are also being supported by nonprofits including MoveOn, the ACLU, Greenpeace and Creative Commons.
"The FCC wants to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies control over what we see and do online," the group says on its website. "If they get their way, they’ll allow widespread throttling, blocking, censorship, and extra fees. On July 12th, the Internet will come together to stop them."
Fight for the Future, the group organizing the day of action, wants to use the day to encourage internet users to make sure their views on the need for net neutrality are expressed and directed toward both the FCC and members of Congress. Participating tech and internet companies will use their websites to encourage visitors to post comments and express their support using a standard form.
You can join the protest on the "Battle for the Net" website here.
The day of action is a response to the FCC's plans to dismantle net neutrality rules, including the classification of internet providers as common carriers. "Title II" of the Communications Act is what provides the legal foundation for net neutrality and prevents ISPs like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T from slowing down and blocking websites, or charging apps and sites extra fees to reach an audience. FCC chairman Ajit Pai – a former Verizon lawyer – has long been a critic of Title II, and vowed to repeal these rules back in April. The FCC voted last month to begin proceedings, and public comments on the matter are due by July 17.
The FCC's new proposal – which it calls "Restoring Internet Freedom" – challenges both the legal approach that enforced Title II, and also whether the rules were warranted in the first place. The dissenting Democratic commissioner, Mignon Clyburn responded, saying "If you unequivocally trust that your broadband provider will always put the public interest over self-interest or the interest of their stockholders, then the 'Destroying Internet Freedom' [proposal] is for you."