December 2, 2017 - e-flux - We need to save the internet
December 2, 2017


Time is running out: act now for #netneutrality.

We need to save the internet

We need to save the internet

“There’s a battle going on right now, a battle to define everything that happens on the Internet in terms of traditional things that the law understands ... ”

“... The people rose up, and they caused a sea change in Washington
 ... They killed [SOPA] dead, so dead that when members of Congress propose something now that even touches the Internet, they have to give a long speech beforehand about how it is definitely not like SOPA; so dead that when you ask congressional staffers about it, they groan and shake their heads like it’s all a bad dream they’re trying really hard to forget; so dead that it’s kind of hard to believe this story, hard to remember how close it all came to actually passing, hard to remember how this could have gone any other way.” 

“But it wasn’t a dream or a nightmare; it was all very real. And it will happen again. Sure, it will have yet another name, and maybe a different excuse, and probably do its damage in a different way. But make no mistake: The enemies of the freedom to connect have not disappeared. The fire in those politicians’ eyes hasn’t been put out. There are a lot of people, a lot of powerful people, who want to clamp down on the Internet. And to be honest, there aren’t a whole lot who have a vested interest in protecting it from all of that. Even some of the biggest companies, some of the biggest Internet companies, to put it frankly, would benefit from a world in which their little competitors could get censored. We can’t let that happen.”

—Aaron Swartz, 2012, after the defeat of the Stop Online Piracy Act bill 

from a speech at F2C:Freedom to Connect 2012, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2012, as transcribed for Democracy Now

Friends and colleagues, 

As you all probably know, the FCC (United States Federal Communications Commissions) has immediate plans to reverse their 2015 decision to consider broadband a public utility. 

Here at e-flux we, like you, are extremely grateful for—indeed everything we do depends on—that hard-maintained reality: relatively equal, public access to the internet.  

Why? For example: 

“Let me explain net neutrality in the most horrific way:
if the FCC dismantles it, and you get internet from Verizon, they may force you to use YAHOO as your search engine (because they own it), but PAY to use GOOGLE.
Would you like that? If not, you SUPPORT #NetNeutrality.”
— Tom Nikl (@Tom_Nikl) November 21, 2017

Before the FCC vote on December 14, please: 

1. In the US, call your representatives: 202 930 8550. When you get through to your Rep's office, introduce yourself, be polite and say “I support Title Two net neutrality rules and I urge you to oppose the FCC's plan to repeal them. Specifically, I'd like you to contact the FCC Chairman and demand he abandon his current plan.”

2. No matter where you live, do anything and everything you can to support net neutrality. For actions and more information:

3. Follow advice from Jessica Rosenworcel, a member of the FCC who opposes the proposed end to net neutrality:

“I think the FCC needs to work for the public, and therefore that this proposal needs to be slowed down and eventually stopped. In the time before the agency votes, anyone who agrees should do something old-fashioned: Make a ruckus. Reach out to the rest of the FCC now. Tell them they can’t take away internet openness without a fight.”
—Jessica Rosenworcel, Los Angeles Times, November 21, 2017

Write to the other four members of the FCC:

Ajit Pai, Chairman: ajit.pai [​at​]
Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner: mignon.clyburn [​at​]
Michael O'Rielly, Commissioner: mike.o'rielly [​at​]
Brendan Carr, Commissioner: brendan.carr [​at​]

On December 14, we need to be able to repeat Aaron Swartz's words from 2012:
"We won this fight because everyone made themselves the hero of their own story. Everyone took it as their job to save this crucial freedom. They threw themselves into it. They did whatever they could think of to do."

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