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.

FCC Manhandles Reporter For Asking A Question

Ajit Pai (center) is the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Mignon Clyburn (right) and Michael O'Rielly (left) remain as commissioners.
STEVE BALDERSON/FCC

By Julie Schoo for The National Press Club – The reporter, John M. Donnelly of CQ Roll Call, is an award-winning journalist. He is also chairman of the National Press Club’s Press Freedom Team and president of the Military Reporters & Editors association. He has chaired the NPC Board of Governors and formerly served on the Standing Committee of Correspondents in the U.S. Congress, which credentials the Washington press corps. Donnelly said he ran afoul of plainclothes security personnel at the FCC when he tried to ask commissioners questions when they were not in front of the podium at a scheduled press conference. Throughout the FCC meeting, the security guards had shadowed Donnelly as if he were a security threat, he said, even though he continuously displayed his congressional press pass and held a tape recorder and notepad. They even waited for him outside the men’s room at one point. When Donnelly strolled in an unthreatening way toward FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly to pose a question, two guards pinned Donnelly against the wall with the backs of their bodies until O’Rielly had passed. O’Rielly witnessed this and continued walking. One of the guards, Frederick Bucher, asked Donnelly why he had not posed his question during the press conference.

People On Margins Have 'Everything To Lose' In Net Neutrality Fight

Students who lack internet access in their homes are often at a clear educational disadvantage when compared to their peers who have internet access. (Photo: A Healthier Michigan)

By Mike Ludwig for Truthout – Last week, while pundits were debating whether crashing web servers at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) were hit by hackers or simply by a flood of public comments following another viral segment on net neutrality by TV comedian John Oliver, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn was on her way to a forum in Los Angeles. There she heard from advocate Sylvia Hernandez and others who are often left out of the beltway’s tech policy narratives. “I wouldn’t have even found [a homeless] shelter, if it hadn’t been for the internet,” said Hernandez, who was able to access the internet at local libraries and is currently housed. Hernan Galperin, a communications professor at the University of Southern California who maps the digital divide in Los Angeles County, told Clyburn that broadband adoption among the city’s white residents is 20 percent higher than it is for Black and Latinx residents. Lack of competition among providers is to blame for high costs, he said. Fifth-grade teacher Melissa Baranic said some of her students come from families that can’t afford internet service at home, putting them at a clear educational disadvantage.

Net Neutrality Loses Only If The People Stay Silent

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By John Eggerton for Broadcasting Cable – FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn told a crowd of Title II fans that network neutrality is dead unless they make themselves heard, no matter what the vote on the upcoming Title II rollback is. Clyburn was speaking at a TechCrunch Disrupt NYC conference May 16. Her talk was billed as “Commission impossible: Keeping the internet free.” The FCC plans to vote May 18 on Republican FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to reverse the Title II classification of ISPs that Clyburn supported in the Open Internet order she helped approve back in 2015. Clyburn is currently the lone Democrat under the new Republican Administration, so she cannot stop the reversal of Title II but could delay it if she does not show up for the May 18 meeting and denies the chairman the necessary quorum. That does not sound likely since she said she did not know what the FCC would be launching this week, but she would vote “in the opposite way” from the Republicans. She said net neutrality is dead if “we are silent,” no matter how the vote goes. Moderator Devin Coldewey of TechCrunch was the moderator and asked whether the comments matter and pointed to identical pro-Title II comments that had been filed.

Pai Needs To Start Acting Like A Chairman Of The FCC

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By Harold Feld for Wet Machine – In my 20+ years of doing telecom policy, I have never seen a Chairman so badly botch a proceeding as Chairman Ajit Pai has managed to do with his efforts to repeal Net Neutrality. For all the fun that I am sure Pai is having (and believe me, I understand the fun of getting all snarky on policy), Pai’s failure to protect the integrity of the process runs the serious risk of undermining public confidence in the Federal Communications Commission’s basic processes, and by extension contributing to the general “hacking of our democracy” by undermining faith in our most basic institutions of self-governance. Yeah, I know, that sounds over the top. I wish I didn’t have to write that. I also wish we didn’t have a President who calls press critical of him “the enemy of the American people,” triggering massive harassment of reporters by his followers. What both Trump and Pai seem to fail to understand is that when you are in charge, what you say and do matters much more than what you said and did before you were in charge. You either grow up and step into the challenge or you end up doing serious harm not only to your own agenda, but to the institution as a whole.

Why The Fight To Save The Internet Matters

Net Neutrality advocates smash computers in front of the Federal Communications Commission on May 16, 2017./Photo courtesy of Popular Resistance

By John Zangas for DC Media Group – The fight over control of the Internet has reignited as advocates for Net Neutrality draw battle lines against deep pocket telecoms. Last month FCC Chairman Ajit Pai signaled his intention to give control of the backbone of U.S. communications to the telecoms. If this battle sounds familiar, it’s because it was already fought–and won–in 2015 when the FCC classified the Internet as a public utility. Tech groups joined grassroots activists to preserve Net Neutrality. Those telecoms–Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner (TW Telecom), Comcast, T-Mobile, and Sprint–are still licking their wounds from their 2015 loss. But with a Republican administration, they found new support from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. The stakes are high, and there’s no guarantee the new fight will be won a second time, even if Internet freedom groups mobilize like they did during 2014-5. The new battle will take everything Net Neutrality supporters can muster and more because the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who was previously a Verizon lawyer, has already sided with the telecoms on this issue. The internet is one of the last communications crown jewels left because it is still a common good, accessible by everyone.

Our Internet Will Be Destroyed In The Coming Weeks & No One’s Talking About It

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By Lee Camp for Redacted Tonight – May 18 could signal the end of Net Neutrality, a.k.a. the fight for a free and open internet. Why? That’s when the FCC, now spearheaded by former Verizon legal counsel Ajit Pai, will vote on whether or not to roll back regulations set in 2015 to keep the Internet fair. Telecom giants like Comcast and the FCC are pushing forward on undermining internet freedom in a variety of ways, one of which is them going so far as to actually call their attempts at crushing internet freedom, you guessed it – INTERNET FREEDOM. It’s Orwellian and sick. A free and open internet is why movements like Black Lives Matter, the Bernie Revolution and Occupy have been able to even exist. Lee Camp shares why Net Neutrality is important to our democracy and shreds Pai on his willingness to be an absolutely ridiculous, villainous corporate tool in the latest clip from Redacted Tonight.

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.

Take Action To Protect Our Internet!

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By Popular Resistance. Tell Ajit Pai to protect net neutrality. In 2014 the people fought the Giant Telecoms to win reclassification of the Internet as a common carrier under the Obama administration. This success gave us Net Neutrality – everyone can go wherever they want on the Internet. Now, under the Trump administration, the new chair of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, a former lawyer for Verizon, is moving quickly to take net neutrality away! He plans to start that process on May 18 unless we stop him. Send him an email now!

Inventor Of Web, Tim Berners Lee, Calls For Net Neutrality

im Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, being interviewed by Axel Springer CEO Mathias Dophfner. Die Welt

By Mathias Döpfner for Tech Insider – Mathias Döpfner: In a way, you are the Konrad Zuse for the digital world. In 1989, you created the World Wide Web, which is basically seen as the ideal for transparency. Do you sometimes feel that this ideal is transforming into a monster? Tim Berners-Lee: Over the decades, I changed my answer to that. For the first two decades, I would answer as a matter of principle that, when you look out there, you see humanity. Humanity has good sides and bad sides. The Web has to be an accurate mirror of humanity. Therefore, you will find bad stuff, and you will find good stuff, horrible stuff and glorious stuff. That was my answer for a long time. Now we’ve gotten into the age of social networks, I think the last couple of years have made a lot of people rethink. So having spent two decades trying to keep the Web open, keep it neutral, assuming that, if humanity has an open and neutral Web, then it will build wonderful things with it, like Wikipedia, etc. Now we’ve realized, actually, it might not. It depends what sort of system technically you build on the Web when you build something like a social networking system.

How To Protest The FCC’s Plan To Dismantle Net Neutrality

Above: Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Ajit Pai testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Privacy, Technology and the Law Subcommittee hearing on "Examining the Proposed FCC Privacy Rules" on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on May 11, 2016.

Image Credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

By Harrison Weber for Venture Beat – President Trump’s FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, is moving forward with his plan to destroy Obama-era Net Neutrality regulations. But before the FCC stops regulating internet providers as it does other public utilities — under the Title II provision of the Telecommunications Act — the agency is soliciting public feedback. YOUR feedback. The FCC’s website is a nightmare to use, but John Oliver, reprising his 2014 Net Neutrality campaign, created a handy shortcut for you: gofccyourself.com. Grab your pitchfork. Here’s a stupidly simple guide to sharing your thoughts with the FCC.

Net Neutrality Protestors Leave Messages On Doors In FCC Chairman's Neighborhood

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By Natt Garun for The Verge – Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai unveiled his plans to reverse net neutrality last month, and the proposal is expected to face an initial vote on May 18th. While net neutrality supporters have displayed their opposition to Pai’s continued stance against the 2015 ruling in a few creative ways, this weekend a campaign aimed to hit the chairman close to home — literally. On Sunday, protesters from the Protect Our Internet campaign went around Pai’s neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia, and distributed door hangers at nearby homes, prompting people to be aware of their neighbor’s efforts to limit internet freedom. The flyers feature a black-and-white photo of Pai, along with a short description of the chairman’s background and how his proposal would roll back open internet rules. According to a blog post by the activists, hundreds of signs were circulated and the crew received “friendly support from the neighbors they spoke to.”

John Oliver Makes Another Rallying Cry To Save Net Neutrality

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By Ted Johnson for Variety – John Oliver again called on viewers of “Last Week Tonight” to flood the FCC with calls and comments to urge the agency to retain net neutrality. Oliver’s show went so far as to take out a domain name — gofccyourself.com — to give users an easier way to post comments to the FCC site. On Sunday, it appeared that the site’s page for comments was already overloaded. In 2014, as the FCC was considering a new set of net neutrality rules, Oliver did an extended segment on his show. The next day, the FCC’s website crashed, and Oliver’s attention helped give public attention to the issue. Almost 4 million comments were received, leading to the commission’s decision in 2015 to reclassify internet service as a common carrier and to pass a robust set of net neutrality rules. In his segment on Sunday, Oliver warned that net neutrality was again under threat, as new chairman Ajit Pai seeks to roll back the reclassification. That move, Oliver said, would weaken net neutrality, and he pointed to reports that Pai supported a plan in which internet providers would voluntarily agree to a set of rules that would be a part of a customer’s terms of service.

FCC Commissioner Tells ALEC To Help Squash Net Neutrality.

Protestors organized a "light brigade" outside the White House on Thursday night to promote net neutrality. (Photo by Nancy Scola/The Washington Post)

By Bruce Kushnick for The Huffington Post – But when the second Republican FCC Commissioner, Michael O’Rielly, speaks at ALEC’s (American Legislative Exchange Council) Communications & Technology Task Force and calls on the group to take actions to help the FCC take down Net Neutrality and the speech is listed as business as usual at the FCC—we know that the FCC is captured. (I note that in 2013 then-commissioner Pai spoke to the same ALEC group.) I just posted an article from 2013 that outlines how a Petition filed by AT&T, which was based on ‘model legislation’ created by ALEC, is now the game plan for the current FCC in 2017. The plan is to remove all regulations, all obligations and consumer protections so that the corporations can optimize profits. The FCC’s plans are couched in twisted word speech, calling for “Internet freedom” yet we find that it is just freedom for the large corporations, the large phone and cable companies – AT&T, Verizon, Centurylink and the cable companies, who are all members of ALEC, as far as we can tell. And it is clear that this FCC is just out of control. Talk about being biased, the FCC’s own press release and fact sheet called: “What Capitol Hill Is Saying About Restore Internet Freedom Proposal”