Under President Donald Trump, several business leaders have made it clear they will do what it takes to oppose the president's policies. As the administration plans on changing internet rules, they have yet another opportunity to show how.
On July 12, internet-based companies, like Amazon, Kickstarter, Vimeo, Mozilla, Etsy, and Kickstarter, will be holding a day of protest, The Guardian reports. The event hopes to raise awareness about policies pushed by the Federal Communications Commission's new head under Trump, Ajit Pai.
Under Pai, rules imposed in 2015 meant to uphold “net neutrality” may be neutered. To advocates within organizations standing against the FCC's new plans, this would stifle internet equality while also stifling innovation.
Promising to take a “weed whacker” to net neutrality rules, Pai seems focused on making these changes regardless of the massive protests these and other organizations have put together, prompting advocates to urge the public to join in full force.
During the July day of action, advocacy organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union, Demand Progress, Greenpeace, MoveOn, American Library Association, and Center for Media Justice will be joining tech industry leaders, an action that helped the same companies push for changes in 2014 when advocates successfully pressured the FCC to reclassify broadband under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.
The 2014 move kept internet service providers from essentially creating fast or slow lanes for services.
At the time, proponents of this reclassification argued that freeing companies to provide faster or slower services kept them from picking winners or losers, while others who opposed this change argued that reclassifying broadband actually slowed the internet, hampering development and evolution of internet services as a result.
To Vimeo's general counsel, Michael Cheah, the fight against Pai's plan is a fight for innovation.
“Net neutrality made it possible for Vimeo, along with countless other startups, to innovate and thrive. The FCC’s proposed rollback of the 2015 open internet rules threatens to impede that innovation and allow a handful of incumbent ISPs to determine winners and losers,” he said.
Demand Progress' communications director, Mark Stanley, agrees, adding that the fight against net neutrality is a fight being led by “Big Cable.”
“The FCC’s plan to dismantle net neutrality will unfairly pad the bottom lines of Comcast and the rest of Big Cable, while undermining the public’s ability to freely communicate, organize, and innovate,” he said.
“Every few years, a threat so severe confronts the open internet,” he continued, that the fight against the FCC's new plan forces people of all backgrounds to “band together in common cause to fight back.”
It's with that sentiment in mind that advocates and organizers want to raise awareness to their arguments on July 12, pushing the FCC once again to pick them over Big Cable.
You can join them by checking out the website they put together, where you can also pledge to join the day of action for net neutrality.