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Next Phase Of The Battle For Net Neutrality & People’s Control Of The Internet

Last week, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals finally issued a decision on a challenge to the Trump administration's "Open Internet" rule, which ended Net Neutrality protections in 2017. While the court reversed and remanded important parts of the rule, it upheld the reversal of Net Neutrality regulations. This decision opens the next phase of the struggle in the Battle for the Internet -- a battle between control of the Internet by a handful of big corporations versus an Internet that serves the people. The Internet freedom movement enters this conflict in a strong position as there is a public consensus that the Internet should be open and neutral, i.e. people should be able to go to websites without Internet Service Providers restricting their access. Millions of people have shown they will take action on behalf of a people's Internet.

85 Companies Urge Congress to Pass Net Neutrality Measure

Today, 85 companies urged Congress to pass a measure (S.J.Res. 52) that uses the Congressional Review Act to retain the net neutrality rules that the Federal Communications Commission repealed six months ago. The companies, organized by New America’s Open Technology Institute, include many high-growth businesses in a broad cross-section of industries, such as Yelp, Warby Parker, Sonos, ADT, Etsy, and Vimeo. “Congress should protect the internet by passing a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, thereby restoring strong net neutrality rules at the federal level,” the companies wrote in a letter to congressional leadership. The Senate is expected to vote on the measure on Wednesday. Sarah Morris, Director of Open Internet Policy at New America’s Open Technology Institute, said,  “Strong rules that protect an open internet ensure that business owners and consumers can reach one another without harmful manipulation or demands for payment from internet service providers.

Next Stage Of Net Neutrality Conflict Begins

On Thursday, the FCC's net neutrality rule was published in the Federal Register. This was the official start of the next phase of the campaign to protect the open Internet as a common carrier with equal access for all and without prejudice based on content (net neutrality). There are multiple fronts of struggle to make net neutrality a reality: Congress, the courts, states and communities. This is part of a campaign to create an Internet for the 21st Century that is fast, reliable and available in all communities. Polls show widespread support for net neutrality.

Net Neutrality, in a Nutshell, Is a Nondiscrimination Law

By Matt Wood for Free Press. Net Neutrality advocates are fighting back in the courts, in Congress and in the streets. We’re seeing nationwide protests to stop Pai’s plan, and people will sue the FCC if the rules are overturned. Net neutraity has existed in some form since the Internet began. Our laws have always said that two-way communications networks must be nondiscriminatory. And as former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler came to understand in 2015 after a lot of good advocacy from people like you, the communications rights the law grants do not and should not change even as the technology advances and evolves. Net Neutrality in a nutshell is a nondiscrimination law. Equal access to the Internet for all -- Internet Freedom.

Sept 26-27: The Internet Descends On Washington. DC

By Fight For The Future for Battle for the Internet. The FCC is set on killing net neutrality. But Congress is key. They can stop the FCC and block the bigger threat: ISP-backed bills that would end net neutrality forever. We're organizing Internet users to meet with members of Congress—in DC, or locally—and we're helping to cover travel costs. Are you in? On September 26-27 Internet users from across the country will converge on Washington, DC to meet directly with their members of Congress, which is by far the most effective way to influence their positions and counter the power of telecom lobbyists and campaign contributions. First you can attend a training hosted by Public Knowledge who will share years of experience on how to be effective in these meetings. Participants will be paired with a guide to show you where to go on Capitol Hill to participate in meetings with key lawmakers. If you can't make it to DC, join us by getting involved locally.

Actions You Can Take To Protect Net Neutrality This Week

By Staff. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is threatening to undermine the free and open internet as we know it. In May, the FCC voted to begin a rulemaking that would undo the Open Internet Order, which ensures that Internet Service Providers (ISP) treat all online traffic equally. To raise awareness, involve more constituencies and continue to promote net neutrality, we plan to focus each week on one theme or aspect of net neutrality and amplify that message online. Strong net neutrality protections are in place to prevent broadband providers from blocking, throttling, or prioritizing internet content. Net neutrality rules protect the free flow of ideas that are creating new industries, educating our youth, promoting free speech, and supporting the communications that we rely on every day. President Donald Trump and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s want to hand control of the internet to a few big broadband companies that will serve as broadband gatekeepers. Without the Open Internet Order, ISPs could discriminate against certain websites, distort competition, stifle innovation, and undermine user choice and free expression.

International Network Launches Web Campaign: Right To Link

A large network of over 50 organizations from 21 countries is coming together to “Save The Link”. Today, the network is launching a multilingual international campaign aimed at pushing back against efforts by powerful media conglomerates to censor links and stifle free expression on the Internet. One of the proposals being advanced could make users personally liable for the content of websites they link to online. The campaign launches as legislators in the EU are considering a major copyright review, including amendments to the European Union’s Copyright Directive that experts say would fundamentally undermine the right to link. In addition, a recent leak from the European Commission reveals measures that could force online companies to monitor the activities of Internet users in order to block content in other countries. Popular Resistance has signed onto this campaign because the sharing information is the heart of the Internet's ability to provide a citizen's media that informs and educates more widely than the commercial media. By making it more difficult to share links and other information on the Net, government will be shutting down freedom of speech for the 21st Century.

Newsletter: When People Mobilize, We Can Win

This week was a busy one for Popular Resistance as three key campaigns had major updates. The success of the ten-month campaign to reclassify the Internet as a common carrier under Title II of the Federal Communications Act to ensure net neutrality has been widely reported. While widely reported, not all the reports described how the movement actually achieved it or what it means. We held a three-day sit-in at Senator Ron Wyden’s office. We are focused on Wyden because he is negotiating with Senator Orrin Hatch on Fast Track legislation. If Wyden joins with Hatch he will provide cover to other Democrats by making this a bi-partisan bill. The campaign to save Cove Point from a Dominion Resources fracked gas export terminal had a major event this week when 24 people went on trial.

How Activism Won Real Net Neutrality

Today the Federal Communications Commission has adopted strong net neutrality rules that will require all traffic on the Internet to be treated equally. There will be no fast lanes for large corporations and slow lanes for independent voices. In the days and weeks to come a lot of ink will be spilled about the significance of the FCC’s new rules and the legal nuances of where they might fall short. But for the moment, it is worth reflecting on how this victory was won. This time last year, it looked like all bets were off for net neutrality. A Washington, D.C., district court had just shot down the FCC’s previous net neutrality rules in a lawsuit brought by Verizon. The task then fell to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, a venture capitalist and former head lobbyist for both the cable and wireless industries, to draft new rules that would stand up in court. What followed was one of the most sustained and strategic activist campaigns in recent memory.
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