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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Fight For Net Neutrality


On December 14th, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote to replace current rules enforcing net neutrality. Nothing short of an extinction-level event will prevent it. But before abandoning all hope, know that while the battle for net neutrality at the FCC may have been lost, the war isn’t even close to a conclusion. Source: Gizmodo

Title II of the Communications Act of 1934

Title II is the legal foundation on which the FCC enacted the Open Internet Order of 2015, which established rules for internet service providers (ISPs) regarding net neutrality. Net neutrality is a core principle of the internet, which dictates that ISPs treat all data delivered to customers equally. This means they may not block content, throttle content, nor speed up content for companies that pay for faster delivery to customers. In practice, net neutrality puts all internet content on the same level playing field.

What happens without net neutrality?

via Popular Science

Free Press, an organization that is aggressive in its defense of net neutrality, compiled a timeline of net neutrality violations. These include blocking voice-over-IP services, redirecting search traffic, slowing of traffic, throttling all streaming traffic except to one specific site, and more. While net neutrality has been a term since 2003, and the current rules enforcing it were put in place in 2015, ISPs have tried to work around it for years, and sometimes succeeded, only to be caught later.

Without rules that allow the FCC to enforce net neutrality at the start, violations will have to be reported to the FTC instead, which can investigate and pursue legal action after-the-fact, but cannot preempt abuses.

Call To Action

If you want to join the fight to keep to keep net neutrality in place, call your lawmaker now and tell them to speak up loudly against the FCC’s plan via Free Press Action Fund

Freedom of the press is established in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, which states that "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." Although the text of the amendment only specifically prohibits infringement by Congress, the Supreme Court has broadened the scope of the First Amendment to protect the freedoms of speech and press from censorship by any government entity.

Tools You Can Use | National Constitution Center

As daily users of the internet Net Neutrality is a topic we all should follow closely and engage in the fight for fairness and free press. Censorship is a major threat to democracy as we know it.

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