Read

Search form

For Net Neutrality Defenders, It's the Beginning of "Most Important Battle Yet"

For Net Neutrality Defenders, It's the Beginning of "Most Important Battle Yet"
Tue, 6/12/2018 - by Jessica Corbett
This article originally appeared on Common Dreams

As the FCC's rollback of net neutrality protections officially took effect on Monday, a broad coalition of free press and digital rights campaigners vowed to maintain pressure on members of Congress to either restore the federal rules "or prepare to face our wrath" in the November midterm elections.

Supporters of net neutrality rules—which require internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all online content equally—are aiming to convince House Speaker Paul Ryan and additional Republicans to support a Congressional Review Act (CRA) that would overturn the FCC's party-line vote.

Last month, a few Senate Republicans joined with Democrats to pass the CRA, which was spearheaded by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.).

"Now we're fighting an uphill battle to get the House of Representatives to do the same," explains the BattleforNet coalition, which includes Fight for the Future, Free Press, and Demand Progress. "It's not going to be easy, but if the whole internet comes together to fight, we can win."

"In the House, we'll need 218 lawmakers to sign on to a 'discharge petition' in order to force a vote past leadership to the floor," the coalition's website outlines. "That means we'll need to convince all the Democrats and about 25 Republicans to support the CRA. The clock is ticking—if the CRA resolution doesn't get a vote this year, it dies when the new Congress comes into session."

Now that the repeal is in effect, ISPs "have the green light to begin degrading our access to the internet," said former FCC commissioner and Common Cause special adviser Michael Copps. "Monopoly phone and cable companies will undoubtedly seek to maximize profits by favoring their own content over their competitors and creating fast lanes and slow lanes ultimately at the expense of consumers."

With that in mind, Battle for the Net is promoting three ways constituents can urge their congressional represenatives to back the discharge petition:

  • flood them with calls and emails;

  • schedule in-person events, protests, meetings, and canvassing;

  • and encourage small business owners to sign a public petition pledging their support—because "in Washington, money talks," and lawmakers recognize the "vital" role those owners play in their districts.

Trump-appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, "a former Verizon lawyer, bucked the lawignored public opinion and twisted the facts to make his ill-advised case for handing control of the internet to the anti-competitive cabal of giant phone and cable companies," as Free Press's Timothy Karr noted in an op-ed on Monday.

"Poll after poll after poll after poll shows large majorities of Republican voters in opposition to the FCC's repeal," Karr pointed out. "Any Republican seeking re-election in the fall can't run from this polling data or from the people back home who demand real net neutrality."

"People are pissed off. And rightly so. The gutting of net neutrality is a symbol of our broken democracy. It's the worst of the worst that the D.C. swamp has to offer," Fight for the Future's Evan Greer said in a statement Monday.

"But it has sparked an unprecedented backlash from across the political spectrum, and internet users are coming out of the woodwork to fight tooth and nail in Congress, in the courts, and at the local and state level," she continued. "This summer we'll channel our anger productively and harness the power of the internet to mount an unprecedented district-by-district campaign to get Congress to do their job."

"The internet is coming for net neutrality. There is nowhere to hide," Greer concluded. "Any lawmaker, of any party, that fails to sign the discharge petition in support of the CRA will regret it come election time."

Originally published by Common Dreams

Sign Up

Article Tabs

"the world has been growing too fast for too long. And now...the Earth is full. The only solution, he says, is to radically change the way we consume."

rising U.K. poverty, U.K. housing costs, soaring rents, Universal Income, Brexit

Britain is experiencing a financial crisis on a level not seen since the 2008 credit crunch, with average household expenses now higher than average household income for the first time in 30 years.

free market orthodoxy, libertarianism, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, privatization, socialism, capitalism, deregulation, monopolies, rightwing economics, voodoo economics

Concentrated corporate power must be dismantled and democracy substituted for it – a global project that will take generations but is likely to develop momentum as society experiences ever-greater crises.

free market economics, libertarianism, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, privatization, socialism, capitalism, anarchism, communism

The spectacle of millions adhering to such a breathtakingly stupid ideology as libertarianism would be comical if it weren’t so tragic.

Rokhsana Fiaz, Newham council, leftist governments, people power, Democratic Socialists of America, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, banking crimes

In Newham, East London, Rokhsana Fiaz took power in May with a radical manifesto to alleviate the council's housing crisis and increase citizen participation. She is following through, and change is afoot.

"the world has been growing too fast for too long. And now...the Earth is full. The only solution, he says, is to radically change the way we consume."

ICE detention centers, ICE detainees, immigrant rights, illegal immigration, Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project

Isabel's husband was detained by ICE. Then she received a call from the Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project, part of a wave of new groups that bail out detained immigrants. They wanted to help.

rising U.K. poverty, U.K. housing costs, soaring rents, Universal Income, Brexit

Britain is experiencing a financial crisis on a level not seen since the 2008 credit crunch, with average household expenses now higher than average household income for the first time in 30 years.

movement building, movement of movements, movement stages, National Improved Medicare for All,

One way we measure success is by recognizing the growing popular movements across multiple fronts of struggle. Another way is by observing the actions of our opponents.

GOP tax scam, pass-through income, giveaways to billionaires, tax cuts for the rich, Treasury Department

The Treasury Department not only sided with banking lobbyists’ definition of “financial services,” but its new rule’s fine print echoed their interpretations of the 2017 federal tax law.

free market orthodoxy, libertarianism, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, privatization, socialism, capitalism, deregulation, monopolies, rightwing economics, voodoo economics

Concentrated corporate power must be dismantled and democracy substituted for it – a global project that will take generations but is likely to develop momentum as society experiences ever-greater crises.

Posted 5 days 16 hours ago
rising inequality, wealth inequality, wealth gap, World Inequality Report, GOP tax cuts,

The income share of the poorest half of Americans is declining while the richest have grabbed more. In Europe, it’s not happening.

Posted 6 days 13 hours ago
free market economics, libertarianism, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, privatization, socialism, capitalism, anarchism, communism

The spectacle of millions adhering to such a breathtakingly stupid ideology as libertarianism would be comical if it weren’t so tragic.

Posted 6 days 12 hours ago
rising U.K. poverty, U.K. housing costs, soaring rents, Universal Income, Brexit

Britain is experiencing a financial crisis on a level not seen since the 2008 credit crunch, with average household expenses now higher than average household income for the first time in 30 years.

Posted 2 days 16 hours ago
GOP tax scam, pass-through income, giveaways to billionaires, tax cuts for the rich, Treasury Department

The Treasury Department not only sided with banking lobbyists’ definition of “financial services,” but its new rule’s fine print echoed their interpretations of the 2017 federal tax law.

Posted 4 days 17 hours ago
free market orthodoxy, libertarianism, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, privatization, socialism, capitalism, deregulation, monopolies, rightwing economics, voodoo economics

Concentrated corporate power must be dismantled and democracy substituted for it – a global project that will take generations but is likely to develop momentum as society experiences ever-greater crises.

anti-Fascist, demonstrators, white supremacists, white nationalists, Unite the Right, Charlottesville violence, neo-Nazis, KKK, Ku Klux Klan

A small group of white nationalists marched through downtown Washington on Sunday and were met at the rally site by thousands of counterdemonstrators denouncing racism and white supremacy.

ICE detention centers, ICE detainees, immigrant rights, illegal immigration, Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project

Isabel's husband was detained by ICE. Then she received a call from the Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project, part of a wave of new groups that bail out detained immigrants. They wanted to help.

rising U.K. poverty, U.K. housing costs, soaring rents, Universal Income, Brexit

Britain is experiencing a financial crisis on a level not seen since the 2008 credit crunch, with average household expenses now higher than average household income for the first time in 30 years.

GOP tax scam, pass-through income, giveaways to billionaires, tax cuts for the rich, Treasury Department

The Treasury Department not only sided with banking lobbyists’ definition of “financial services,” but its new rule’s fine print echoed their interpretations of the 2017 federal tax law.