WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union, tech companies, civil rights organizations, and many others will join forces tomorrow, July 12, in a day of action to oppose President Trump’s Federal Communications Commission’s attack on net neutrality.
Net neutrality prevents internet service providers from prioritizing data for organizations that they favor or who pay more. The rules keep the internet open, free, and unrestricted, preventing ISPs from becoming gatekeepers that can control and manipulate what people access on the internet.
“Several years ago, the ACLU helped win many of the net neutrality protections we enjoy today,” said Ronald Newman, ACLU director of strategic initiatives. “Now, former Verizon lawyer and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to take all of that away and reverse years of precedent and practice. This will lead to an internet where activists, startup organizations, and those with minority viewpoints will be at risk of losing an essential platform.”
As part of the net neutrality day of action, the ACLU will change its logo on Facebook and Twitter to one that says “Save Net Neutrality.” ACLU.org will greet everyone that visits on this day with a GIF that simulates the effect of slowing down the website, a symbolic nod to what abolishing net neutrality would mean for the internet. The ACLU will be encouraging its over 3 million supporters to submit to the FCC comments against the dismantling of net neutrality.
“Internet service providers shouldn’t be allowed to mess with the data that we pay them to transport,” said Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at the ACLU. “This is a free speech issue. With the power to restrict access and speeds for websites and content of their choosing, corporations like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T will have the power to distort the flow of data and the marketplace of ideas online. The predictable result will be to benefit those with conventional views and those who can pay more.”
Other participants in the day of action include Amazon, Etsy, Mozilla, Kickstarter, Netflix, Reddit, Vimeo, Fight for the Future, Center for Media Justice, Free Press, and Demand Justice, among others. The full list can be found here: https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12.