Net Neutrality Debate: Tech Companies, Advocacy Groups Plan Day Of Action

A number of major tech companies say they will participate in a Day of Action to raise awareness about the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s proposed plan to roll back current net neutrality protections.

The online protest is being organized by nonprofit advocacy group Fight for the Future and is set for Monday. Participants in the event include Amazon, Kickstarter, Etsy, Reddit, Mozilla, Vimeo, GitHub and Y Combinator.

Read: > Is Net Neutrality Dead? What The Internet Will Look Like Without Open Internet Rules, Title II

Fifteen tech companies have signed on to join the effort so far. They are to be joined by more than 30 public interest and advocacy groups including Greenpeace, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Media Justice.

Fight for the Future said the Day of Action will “focus on grassroots mobilization.” Participating companies are expected to direct their members and prompt visitors with information and tools to help contact members of Congress and the FCC.

“The internet has given more people a voice than ever before, and we’re not going to let the FCC take that power away from us,” Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future said in a statement. “Massive online mobilization got us the strong net neutrality protections that we have now, and we intend to fight tooth and nail to defend them.”

Read: > What Is Net Neutrality? How FCC's Title II and Open Internet Rules Came To Be

Denelle Dixon, Mozilla's chief legal and business officer, told International Business Times net neutrality "is vital to a healthy Internet: It protects free speech, competition and innovation online.” She noted a recent Mozilla-Ipsos poll found 76 percent of Americans support net neutrality.

“By reverting to a Title I classification for ISPs, the FCC is endangering Americans' access to a free and open web. The FCC is creating an Internet that benefits ISPs, not users," she said.

Mozilla confirmed it would participate in Monday's protest, and said it will use the “snippet” or blurb that appears beneath the search bar in a new window within its Firefox browser to raise awareness about net neutrality.

"Reddit is proud to join forces with our community on the day of action on July 12,” Melissa Tidwell, general counsel for reddit, told IBT. “We have always been strong advocates for net neutrality, and we will communicate that to all relevant agencies and Congress."

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who took over as head of the agency after being appointed by President Donald Trump, has proposed undoing net neutrality protections put into place by the previous administration.

Pai’s plan would roll back the 2015 decision to classify internet service providers as common carriers, which allowed the FCC to enforce net neutrality principles that prevent blocking content, throttling or slowing internet speeds and paid prioritization that provides preferential treatment to those who pay.

The plan has generated a considerable amount of controversy, leading to hundreds of thousands of comments posted on the FCC’s website — including some supporting Pai’s proposal that are believed to be fake. A number of businesses and startups have also spoken out against the proposal.

Source : http://www.ibtimes.com/net-neutrality-debate-tech-companies-advocacy-groups-plan-day-action-2548476

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