The ACLU Is Joining With Allies to Fight Mega-Corporations in the Battle to Save Net Neutrality

On July 12, 2017, a diverse coalition of interested parties including the ACLU, Amazon, Etsy, Mozilla, Kickstarter, and many others will come together to sound the alarm about the Federal Communications Commission’s attack on net neutrality.

A free and open internet is vital for our democracy and for our daily lives. But the FCC is considering a proposal that threatens net neutrality — and therefore the internet as we know it.

Former Verizon lawyer and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to reverse hard-won protections that cover millions of internet users’ access to a free and open web. Several years ago the ACLU helped win those network neutrality protections. Now, unfortunately, we need to fight the battle again. We’re ready.

Take action with the ACLU

“Network neutrality” is based on a simple premise: that the company that provides your Internet connection can't interfere with how you communicate over that connection. An Internet carrier’s job is to deliver data from its origin to its destination — not to block, slow down, or de-prioritize information because they don't like its content.

If the government abdicates its oversight responsibility, internet service providers like Time Warner, AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon could arbitrarily privilege some content and assign painfully slow connections to other. In other words, giant internet companies would have the power to prioritize what we read, watch, and explore online.

The internet service providers’ history of attempting to do such things is already well established. Before the FCC began enforcing net neutrality rules, Verizon Wireless in 2007 decided that text messages from pro-abortion-rights group NARAL to its supporters were too “controversial,” so it cut off access to the group’s text messaging program. AT&T limited users from exchanging data created using Apple’s FaceTime video-calling app. A Canadian internet service provider cut off access to the web site of a union it was battling over working conditions.

Pai’s plan opens the way for these kinds of games, and much more. It would likely mean the creation of pay-to-play data “fast lanes” for those who can afford it — and slower connections for everyone else. This could give these mega-corporations the role of gatekeepers over the information we consume every day. And they would work to squeeze profits out of that gatekeeper role every way they can.

Who would lose? Independent news outlets, start-up businesses, small blogs and other publishers, grassroots activist groups — and everyone else who uses the internet.

This would be devastating to civil rights organizations and activists, who can’t afford to pay corporations to make their voices heard. The internet has been a vital tool for scrappy campaigns and movements, but they may not have enough resources to survive in Chairman Pai’s pay-to-play model.

But on July 12th, the internet will come together to stop them. Organizations like the ACLU, Fight for the Future, Center for Media Justice, Free Press, Demand Progress, and so many others will stand tall and sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality.

This website will provide tools for everyone to make it super easy for your friends, family, and followers to take action.

We can’t let the FCC get away with this. In 2015, millions raised their voices to demand net neutrality protections and won. We can win again, and we must. The future of a free and open internet — and our fundamental freedoms — are at stake.

Learn more about the July 12 day of action here.

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Eli Samuel Goldman

Irony...the very ACLU I repopularized with my unwavering worldwide outspoken support (who wouldn't help me LITTERALLY to save my life or that of others despite many contacts for years) will NOT let me post THE TRUTH.. I got news for the ACLU...all any group posts these days is "politically partisan information!" ...in every media source, group, forum and manner.

Eli Samuel Goldman

Irony even more considering I'm the ONLY one who fought for "balance" and (minimal or... ) non-political partisanship all the years!!!! That's how I got caught in a war between major groups and political parties in Oklahoma!

Eli Samuel Goldman

....Talk about a world full of hypocrites and hypocritical rules!!!!!! I'm allowed to post "my own story" since it is germaine to the topic ID think. Since when did the ACLU promote censorship????

Eli Samuel Goldman

I'm STILL someone who is liberal leaning...I'm just someone who's life life was destroyed and was tortured for years on behalf of Trump's far right and lunatic fringe ..and as well by my own liberal defenders due to misinformation because the Trump camp wanted me discredited, totured. used and destroyed. ....I thought my while life the ACLU and my own people protected and defended people EXACTLY like me . but as I've always openly said, "I was born and have always been on the outside of everything that is part of me.. The concentric other, a life forced to protect care for and fight for myself and others because no one will ever do it for me!!! Falling through every crack in a broken system. --Sam Desolo..." Broken/abandoned Sam."

Eli Samuel Goldman

They drove a black truck by that says "wittness" and "no contact" just now..bizzarrely in a world of written contracts and the common requirement of service of actual things in person and things agreed to and explicitly stated in writing notarized, I have to guess all these years what is happening and what has what meaning. I'm living in a time and age where the rules are whatever the powerful say they are at any given moment for each individual and situation. There really is nothing and no one to believe in. Not in my country and birthplace of my self and my forefathers/foremothers and ancestors, the U.S.A. ....Sometimes these days I wish I had been in a " free country " based on democracy with leaders who prize caring, scholarship, and defend the People.

Anonymous

Eli, You Are Crazy! Nutjob!

Jane Peters

If we lose net neutrality. I think I'll just get off of the internet altogether. I could use the money. As I'm not paying more for less.

Anonymous

Net monopoly is the core disease; net neutrality, data caps, and a 95% margin are the symptoms. Cure the disease with municipal broadband and the symptoms vanish. Sociopathic kleptomania will never "serve" anyone except itself and internet access has become critical infrastructure.

Aclu member Randy

I applaud the fact that so many organizations are again coming down on the side of whats right. I fear, with such a lopsided legislature, our voices will Be well heard but ignored.

Anonymous

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