Newsletter United To Save The Internet

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. The former Verizon lawyer, Ajit Pai, who now chairs the Federal Communications Commission has taken the first official steps to destroy the free and open Internet by proposing the end of Title II net neutrality rules on May 18. This would be a giveaway to Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and other large Internet Service Providers that would allow them to control access to content on the Internet and charge users more fees. Chairman Pai, a former lawyer for Verizon, is an example of the revolving door between government and industry that serves big business interests, and not the people. Pai has demonstrated during his first few months as chairman that he will say anything, including obvious lies, to serve the telecom industry. We must act quickly to save the Internet from going the road of cable TV

Tell The FCC To Protect Net Neutrality

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By Popular Resistance. On May 18, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai formally introduced a proposal to end net neutrality. He plans to rush the process through this summer while people are on vacation and less likely to notice. This is a critical time to take action. We won the fight for net neutrality in 2015 in part because millions of people submitted comments to the FCC in favor of reclassifying the Internet as a common carrier under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. This means that neither the government nor the Internet Service Providers, such as Comcast, Verizon and AT&T, can control where people go on the Internet. Title II treats the Internet like a utility – for example, electric companies can only provide electricity to your home, they can’t tell you what you can and cannot plug in.

Protesters Take Net Neutrality Issue To FCC Chair's Home

Net Neutrality protest at Pai home May 14, 2017

By Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. Ajit Pai, the Chair of the FCC, is on a mission — he is going to destroy the Internet by reclassifying it so it is no longer a common carrier where we all have equal access and repeal net neutral rules so Comcast, Verizon and A&T can act based on content and allow Internet discrimination. Net neutrality activists began a vigil at the FCC chairman’s home in Arlington on Sunday, May 14 and will continue on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until the public meeting at the FCC on Thursday. Twenty people stood outside of his home holding signs urging “Save The Internet,” “We Want Democracy Not Net Monopolies,” Ajit Pai Stop the Lies” “Protect the Internet” and “Equal Access for All.” The protest was supported by every neighbor who spoke to them, one even offered the use of their bathroom if net neutrality advocates needed it.

Net Neutrality Activists Take on New FCC Chairman

Margaret Flowers puts door hanger featuring Ajit Pai on his neighbors door, by Anne Meador May 7, 2017

By John Zangas and Anne Meador for DC Media Group. Trump’s FCC Chair Ajit Pai is proposing to repeal the Title II classification of the Internet as a common carrier and remove net neutrality rules. Personal visits to Pai’s 5,300-square-foot house in Arlington, Va.–valued at $1,550,000–began this weekend. Prior to a May 18 meeting of FCC commissioners, a handful of Net Neutrality activists hit the streets of Chairman Pai’s upscale neighborhood in what they called an agitation, or “Ajit-ation.” They distributed two hundred flyers to neighbors with a large photo of the FCC chairman with the caption, “Have you seen this man? He is trying to destroy Net Neutrality by giving cable companies the power to control content on the internet.” The “Ajit-ation” includes a series of protests on the street in front of Chairman Pai’s house planned for next week.

Never Give Up Net Neutrality!

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By Popular Resistance. Washington, DC – April 20 was the third public meeting at the Federal Communications Commission under the leadership of the new chair, Ajit Pai, a former lawyer for Verizon. Pai has been a long-time opponent of rules to protect net neutrality. He voted against reclassification of the Internet as a common carrier under Title II in 2015 and he met recently with telecom representatives to discuss how to undermine net neutrality by relaxing enforcement of the rules. Net neutrality means that the Internet should be treated as a utility so that all people have equal access to content without discrimination based on ability to pay. The coalition that won net neutrality in 2015, which includes Popular Resistance, reconvened rapidly after Pai was chosen as chair and put together a strategy to protect net neutrality.

'Very Scary' Valentines Delivered To The FCC Today

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By Popular Resistance. Washington, DC – Today marks the first public hearing by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the directorship of Chairman Ajit Pai, who was appointed by the Trump administration. A coalition of organizations that fought to win net neutrality through reclassification as a common carrier gathered outside the FCC beforehand to deliver 200,000 ‘love letters’ to the chair calling for the protection of net neutrality. They also brought large valentines. 32690768260_a61db7d763_zUpon their approach to the FCC door, the net neutrality protectors were met by the aggressive and angry head of FCC security backed up by several Department of Homeland Security SUVs filled with agents. The head of security demanded to see the contents of the red-wrapped boxes carrying the petitions and instructed the group to take their valentines off the premises. The net neutrality protectors complied after delivering the petitions and moved to an adjacent open grassy area.

The Man Who Will Dismantle Net Neutrality 'With A Smile'

FC Members of People's Firewall, Occupy FCC speak at Net Neutrality rall 5-15-14

By Marguerite Reardon for CNET. Pai often goes out of his way to be nice. He’s the kind of person who remembers co-workers’ birthdays or your kids’ first names. It doesn’t matter if you’re a congressman from California or the parking attendant at the lot near the FCC’s headquarters, Pai offers a folksy and sincere greeting to all. He always has a kind word for colleagues, even when they stand on the opposite side of the aisles. “He made the chairman’s life miserable,” said Gigi Sohn, a former adviser to the previous head, Tom Wheeler, in reference to their constant ideological clashes. “But I like him. Everyone likes him.” This nice guy is no pushover, though. The 44-year-old chairman has already introduced a number of programs and steered the FCC in a different direction from his predecessor. And he’s still gearing up for his biggest move: the takedown of many of the regulations that protect net neutrality, the concept that all internet traffic must be treated as equal.

An Internet For Everyone

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By Devin Coldewey for Tech Crunch. The imagination is a powerful thing, and what it creates may in fact be powerful beyond our imagining. That was certainly the case with Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the World Wide Web, the creation of which is documented in a new short film, “Foreveryone.net,” which was directed by Jessica Yu and is currently showing at the Seattle International Film Festival. I sat down ahead of the film’s debut with Yu and Berners-Lee, who, in his inimitable manner, held forth on topics from encryption and social media to the need to, as he called it, “re-decentralize the web.” The film traces the story of the web from its prehistory as a twinkle in Berners-Lee’s eye to the various dangers it faces today: surveillance, the loss of net neutrality and an excess of commercialization and centralization.

TPP & SOTU: The Facts vs. Obama

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Flush The TPP. President Obama will make his push for the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) a major part of the State of the Union as this is a major goal of his final year in office. This is an opportunity for a widespread discussion of the TPP and what impacts it will have on the economy, workers, the environment and more. Just yesterday the World Bank published a comprehensive analysis of the TPP and concluded that by 2030 the TPP will have a miniscule 0.4% impact on US trade. The economic impact for the United States is minimal but the impact on workers, the environment, food safety, traditional energy and the overall balance between corporate power and government is dramatic. The president’s claims about the TPP should be examined closely and measured against the facts of what the TPP will actually do and the impact similar trade agreements have had. We know from past comments by the president and the US Trade Representative that their sales pitch for the TPP is not always consistent with the facts.

Newsletter: 10 Shocking Realities of the TPP; Join The Revolt

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. Finally, the text of the TPP has been released. It is not as bad as we expected – it is worse. Now we see why the US Trade Representative and President Obama wanted to keep the TPP secret for four years after it was ratified. It if had not been for a very aggressive fight against fast track trade authority in which hundreds of thousands of people participated, we would not be seeing the text. One of the compromises they had to make in order to get just enough votes to pass fast track was to agree to release the text publicly for 60 days before Congress officially began to consider ratification. Why did they want to keep it secret? Because they knew that if the people saw the text it had much less chance of becoming law. Here are 10 examples of things they wanted you not to know.

The Dream Of Internet Freedom Doesn’t Have To Die

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By Jennifer Granick for Just Security – Today, the dream of Internet Freedom that brought me to my first Def Con is dying. The dream is dying because, for better or for worse, we’ve prioritized things like security, online civility, user interface, and intellectual property interests above freedom and openness. As a result, the Internet is less open and more centralized. It’s more regulated. And increasingly it’s less global, and more divided. These trends: centralization, regulation, and globalization are accelerating. And they will define the future of our communications network, unless something dramatic changes. Let’s take a quick look at just a few of the things likely to happen if these trends continue.

Senate Fails On CISA Before Recess; Grassroots Opposition Grows

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By Staff for Fight For The Future – Senate leadership had intended to move CISA to a cloture vote yesterday afternoon, but failed to strike a deal as more and more members raised concerns with the bill in the wake of two weeks of intense grassroots action that flooded Senate offices with more than 6.2 million faxes in addition to tens of thousands of emails, phone calls, and tweets. Most of the action came through FaxBigBrother.com a viral web page launched by Fight for the Future with a broad coalition of privacy and civil liberties groups. Senate leadership had intended to move CISA to a cloture vote yesterday afternoon, but failed to strike a deal as more and more members raised concerns with the bill in the wake of two weeks of intense grassroots action that flooded Senate offices with more than 6.2 million faxes in addition to tens of thousands of emails, phone calls, and tweets. Most of the action came through FaxBigBrother.com a viral web page launched by Fight for the Future with a broad coalition of privacy and civil liberties groups. Senate leadership had intended to move CISA to a cloture vote yesterday afternoon, but failed to strike a deal as more and more members raised concerns with the bill in the wake of two weeks of intense grassroots action that flooded Senate offices with more than 6.2 million faxes in addition to tens of thousands of emails, phone calls, and tweets. Most of the action came through FaxBigBrother.com a viral web page launched by Fight for the Future with a broad coalition of privacy and civil liberties groups. “The delay is good news, but Internet users are outraged that Congress is even considering this dangerous and unpopular legislation, and even more outraged at the Web companies who stand to benefit financially from CISA’s sweeping legal immunity who have remained silent, putting all of their users’ privacy at risk,” said Evan Greer, Fight for the Future’s campaign director.

International Opposition To Facebook’s Fake Internet

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Sixty-five organizations from 31 countries and regions around the world released an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg detailing significant concerns about his plan to control what the next 3 billion Internet users do online through Facebook’s controversial Internet.org initiative. You can see our concerns outlined in the full PDF below. The letter was signed by tons of groups including our friends at Access, Bits of Freedom, EDRi, the Centre for Media Justice, Popular Resistance, and dozens more from around the world. The goal is to amplify the concerns of people in countries like India, Brazil, Zimbabwe, and Paraguay, who are outraged over Zuckerberg’s fake Internet, which blocks the websites, apps, and services the rest of the world loves from being available on equal terms. We’ve been hearing a lot of concern from our members and wanted to provide a place for them to speak out and for a hub to find background materials. At the end of the day, we all deserve access to the full, real, open Internet. Not just Zuckerberg’s fake imitation. So let’s stand together and make sure he knows there’s another path to take – Internet users around the world would rather he use his influence for good and promote access to the real open Internet that his poor imitation. And we hope the NoFakeInternet.org campaign can contribute to that end – but it only works if you speak out.

FCC To Move Against Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger

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WASHINGTON — According to reports in the Wall Street Journal and Politico, Federal Communications Commission staff may be prepared to recommend that Comcast’s proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable be designated for a hearing. Such a move would put the merger request in the hands of an administrative law judge, who would conduct a thorough inquiry into the public-interest benefits of the proposed merger, if any. In formal legal terms a hearing designation merely means that the FCC cannot approve the proposed $45 billion merger at this time without first conducting such a hearing. In practical terms however, this type of preliminary decision generally spells the end for the deal because of the difficulty applicants face to make their case in such proceedings.

Congress: Popular Resistance Conspired For Net Neutrality

Thomas Wheeler at Senate Confirmation hearing by Andrew Harrer for BLOOMBERG

Today at the House Oversight and Government Reform Hearing, they are claiming that Popular Resistance was working with the White House in pressuring Tom Wheeler to enact rules in the public interest to protect the Internet. While we appreciate the attention, the reality is that Popular Resistance was part of a broad coalition of organizations and individuals who pushed for Title II and net neutrality rules. We played our role in protesting at key points throughout the process, helping to develop strategy with the net neutrality coalition, urging people to submit comments as well as writing and reporting about the issue. Near the end of the process when we still thought the FCC was not going to reschedule, and President Obama had remained silent, we also protested at the White House and urged people to call the president and tell him to support Title II. This is how the system is supposed to work. The FCC proposes a rule, seeks comments and listens. Corporate interests are so used to the public being ignored that they, and their puppets in Congress, are startled that a federal agency actually acted in the public interest.