Large telecommunication corporations are trying to grab the internet to promote their commercial and political ends, and roll back net neutrality. Comcast, Verizon and AT&T, among others, are moving to make extra charges for what we access online and to have more control over what we see and do. Free Press, an Open Internet advocacy group notes that recent moves by the Trump administration have aimed to abolish the 2015 FCC decision to regulate internet providers as utilities and to scale back regulations.
These regulations call for the telecommunications companies that provide online access to treat all internet traffic equally and not slow or block some sites. Eliminating them would allow the telecommunications giants to dominate the Internet for financial gain while limiting the freedom and privacy of consumers.
It’s about consumer rights, it’s about free speech, it’s about democracy.
It seems for once that people from across the whole political spectrum, Democrats, Independents and Republicans including artists, musicians, faith leaders and legal scholars are voicing the opinion that cable companies censoring, charging extra fees, or editing the Internet are not welcome. Back in February 2015 FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said: “Fast lanes will not divide the internet into haves and have-nots. Consumers will be able to go where they want, when they want,” Wheeler continued. “Today is a red letter day for internet freedom.”
But that was then. Now we have a new administration, and we are faced with new challenges.
This Wednesday has been declared Day of Action to save net neutrality and protect online free speech and innovation. So far today more than 100,000 people, sites, and organizations signed up to participate in the effort. They are sending the signal that you don’t mess with the internet and that organized groups have the power to “trump” organized dollars.
Sites and apps participating include Automattic (WordPress), Amazon, Mozilla, Netflix, Etsy, Kickstarter, Soundcloud, Dropbox, Spotify, Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Medium, Y Combinator, GitHub, Pantheon, Opera, Bittorrent Inc., Shapeways, Nextdoor, Stack Overflow, Funny Or Die, Dreamhost, and CREDO Mobile, Goldenfrog, Fark, Chess.com, Namecheap, DuckDuckGo, Checkout.com, Sonic, Ting, ProtonMail, O’Reilly Media, SlashDot, Dribble, Dischord, SourceForge, and Union Square Ventures. Organizations participating include Fight for the Future, Free Press Action Fund, Demand Progress, Center for Media Justice, EFF, Internet Association, Internet Archive, World Wide Web Foundation, Creative Commons, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Greenpeace, Common Cause, ACLU, Rock the Vote, American Library Association, Daily Kos, OpenMedia, The Nation, PCCC, MoveOn, OFA, Public Knowledge, OTI, Color of Change, MoveOn, Free Software Foundation, Internet Creators Guild, the Women’s March, and many others.