Google, Facebook Join Wednesday's Massive Net Neutrality Protest

Google, Facebook Join Wednesday's Massive Net Neutrality Protest

It was the FCC adopting the very same Open Internet Order which Mr Pai is now proposing to replace. The organisation behind that protest claimed that more than 2,030,000 individuals took part in it, sending over 2,300,000 emails to members of Congress to convince their legislators to protect net neutrality. Web giants, such as Facebook and Google are joining grassroots digital rights activists in an online "day of action" to challenge the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) proposal to gut its own net neutrality rules, which require big internet service providers like Comcast and AT&T to treat all data on their networks equally.

Facebook, which boasts 2 billion unique monthly users, has spent nearly $43.3 million.The two internet giants are joining about 200 organizations in the Wednesday "Day of Action" to protest any rollback of net neutrality regulations. Both have been working hard to broaden their lobbying focus under the Trump administration, and both have been more than happy to sacrifice some integrity (and the health of the internet) in the process.

One such group, Broadband for America, is saying the FCC rules should be replaced by congressional legislation mandating net neutrality.

"The Internet is essential infrastructure for our economy and culture", said the Internet Creators Guild, participants in the protest, in a statement.

Berin Szoka, a founder of TechFreedom a group that supports the roll back of net neutrality rules stated that the protest is "not going to stop" the FCC.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai plans to eliminate net neutrality protections which have been in place for the last three years and would allow ISP's to block or slow down content as they see fit. It reclassifies broadband as a utility service and imposed several common carrier regulations - including prohibitions on throttling or blocking content and on charging companies higher fees for prioritised delivery. Obviously the big USA cable companies don't provide your internet.




"Tomorrow, AT&T will join the "Day of Action" for preserving and advancing an open Internet", AT&T Senior Executive VP Bob Quinn wrote in a blog post this afternoon. The companies are taking part in Wednesday's Internet rally that opposes Pai's initiatives - although none of the companies would say exactly how they will do so.

For all its efforts, though, AT&T surely won't win much support from the organizers behind Wednesday's day of action, a group called Battle for the Net, which is led by liberal-leaning groups Free Press, Demand Progress and Fight for the Future. Also involved: Vimeo, Etsy, Airbnb, the ACLU, Spotify, Yelp, Twitter, OKCupid, Dropbox and Pinterest.

How are internet providers responding to the day of action? "Getting rid of Title II does not mean that we are repealing net neutrality protections for American consumers".

"We've been against bigger foes", said Evan Greer, campaign director at Fight for the Future.

Read: What Is Net Neutrality?

If you're unfamiliar with the debate surrounding net neutrality, it's time to change that.

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