ACLU Calls FCC Penalty Against Comcast a Step Forward Toward Net Freedom

August 1, 2008 12:00 am

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Urges Commissioners to Persevere in Defense of Consumers’ Rights and Net Neutrality Washington, DC – Today the Federal Communications Commission is expected to penalize Comcast for violating the FCC’s principles to ensure open access to the Internet.

The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

“We applaud the FCC for taking enforcement action against Comcast. The nation’s second largest Internet service provider violated the commission’s open access rules by unlawfully blocking file-sharing services such as BitTorrent. Significantly, it violated the rules by which the Internet must operate if it is to remain an open forum.

“We commend Free Press, Public Knowledge, and the other groups who pursued the complaint against Comcast. We also applaud ACLU activists and the public for speaking out at field hearings and sending in thousands of personal comments about Comcast’s illegal practices.

“Today’s FCC penalty against Comcast is a step forward toward freedom on the Net. We urge the commissioners to remain vigorous in their defense of consumers’ rights and the open Internet.

“Kevin Martin deserves credit in this case for leading the commission to limit Comcast’s abuse of the Internet. But commission decisions are only as permanent as the commissioners who voted for them and we are far from a point where we can all relax secure in the knowledge that the Internet as we have always known it is safe. More needs to be done. Soon, power will change hands in Washington, and we urge party leaders to nominate FCC commissioners who will make it a priority to restore and protect network neutrality principles. The ACLU will continue to work towards legislation that will free the Internet from corporate censorship and the fleeting policy decisions that accompany a commission filled with political appointees.”

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