FOCUS: Freedom of Speech/Equal Access to Information
GOAL: Make a lot of noise about the FCC’s vote on whether or not to maintain net neutrality regulations
DEADLINE: RIGHT NOW! (The FCC is trying to force a vote on Dec 14th)
You like the Internet, right? You probably use it a lot for work, for keeping in touch with friends and family, for researching travel plans and recipes and everything else in your life, and – yes – for LOL Cats. (Don’t be ashamed. We all do it.)
But, what if you suddenly couldn’t access certain sites? Or, what if your access to certain sites (Or – gods forbid – the entire Internet!) was throttled to a brain-achingly slow speed that made you want to throw your digital devices through a window? What if your own business website was shunted to an Internet slow lane, frustrating your customers or – worse – making your site basically invisible to future customers? And what if the only way you could – as either a consumer or a business owner – get access to fast Internet or certain content (think Netflix, email, or Facebook) was by paying higher, “premium” fees set by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who could charge whatever they wanted? (This has already happened in Portugal, which ditched net neutrality, opening the door for ISPs to charge extra for all kinds of things that used to be part of all-inclusive Internet access.)
And let’s think for just a minute about how a restricted Internet, controlled by corporations who are beholden to the current administration and vice versa, would negatively affect The Resistance. How would you stay on top of the news, communicate with your peers, organize events, get information out to others? What if you didn’t have free and fast access to your Facebook groups, blogs, news sites, etc?
No worries, right? Because Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T totally have YOUR best interests at heart and would never put their profits ahead of the free Internet.
The fact is, all of these scenarios and more are very possible (if not downright likely) if Trump’s FCC Chairman (who also *cough* happens to be a former Verizon lawyer *cough*) Ajit Pai is successful in undoing the existing net neutrality laws. The ISPs have been lobbying hard for this change even while they’ve been making promises that they would *never* do anything to change the way the free Internet works. And, all of this will be coming to a head very soon. Like, this week soon.
WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT:
At this site you can write your members of congress, locate a protest to attend on December 7th, download some cool social media graphics, and learn more about the issue.
SECOND: You can email and tweet at the members of the FCC leadership team. Interestingly, one member of this team, Jessica Rosenworcel, just wrote an Op-ed for the LA Times, I’m on the FCC. Please stop us from killing net neutrality, in which she urges people to make a lot of noise. Here are the FCC leadership team members’ names, emails, Twitter handles, and direct phone numbers:
- Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman – Email| Twitter | 202-418-1000
- Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner – Email | Twitter| 202-418-2100 (She’s already supporting Net Neutrality – you can just thank her!)
- Michael O’Rielly, Commissioner – Email|Twitter| 202-418-2300
- Brendan Carr, Commissioner – Email | Twitter| 202-418-2200
- Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner – Email|Twitter |202-418-2400 (You can just thank her, too!)
THIRD: Use the handy link that John Oliver set up – gofccyourself.com – to leave a comment: Click on the word “express” in the upper right corner and when you get a new page, fill it out and comment that you want to keep net neutrality as it is. If using a mobile device, Be sure to press the “return” button once you enter your name or it won’t work. Submit, done.
Other Things You Can Do:
- Sign the Freepress petition
- Call the FCC and let them know why you care about maintaining Title II protections for Net Neutrality. Tel: 202-418-2000
- Use the Freepress form to send an email to the FCC.
- Let Freepress dial the right people so you can tell them why you care about saving net neutrality.
ADDITIONAL READING & INFO:
- From freepress: Net Neutrality Violations: A Brief History
- If you are really interested in learning more and have ninety minutes, here’s a recording of a panel discussion hosted by New America’s Open Technology Institute.
- If you only have two minutes, check out this micro guide from The Skimm.
- Got four minutes? Here’s a listen from WBUR: Boston Tech Community Worries About Plans To Chip Away At Net Neutrality Regulations
- From the London School of Economics and Political Science: Net-Neutrality: The First Amendment of the Internet
- From the ACLU: What is Net Neutrality?
- From the LA Times: A long-but-entertaining piece: “A brief, strange history of net neutrality (including a ‘series of tubes,’ a dingo and James Harden).”
And here’s John Oliver’s excellent overview of the situation:
TO REACH YOUR MOCs:
1. Reach MOCs via the Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
2. Look up your elected senators and reps.
3. Use Faxzero to send free faxes from your computer to your Senator or Congressperson.
4. Use Resistbot to send faxes to your senators right from your phone: Text the word “RESIST” to 50409.