Net neutrality supporters have been hard at work educating voters and mobilizing action for the open Internet ahead of today’s election, and are already planning a major push during the “lame duck” session after election day, ahead of the deadline for Congress to pass reverse the FCC’s repeal using the Congressional Review Act (CRA).
Fight for the Future, a prominent digital rights group and one of the fiercest defenders of net neutrality, issued a blog post today looking past election day at the fight ahead. In recent weeks, the group has:
* Flooded the Internet with thousands of selfies submitted by voters––including hundreds of first-time voters––telling the world they plan to #VoteForNetNeutrality.
* Reached millions of people with VoteForNetNeutrality.com, a tool for people to look up where candidates in their area stand and contact their representatives
* Worked with local activists to deliver a “truckload of telecom money” to Rep Steve Knight (who has not signed on to the CRA despite publicly opposing the FCC repeal) outside a highly publicized debate
* Launched DonateForNetNeutrality.com, a major crowdfunding campaign to fund mass online protests and in-district actions during the lame duck session, backed by well-liked web companies and celebrities like Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, actress Evangeline Lilly, and EDM star Bassnectar.
“Whoever wins at the polls today, when the dust settles and the votes are counted we’ll be mobilizing Internet users to hit the ground running and mount a massive pressure campaign to get Congress to overrule the FCC repeal before they leave office,” said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future (pronouns: she/her), “For those who were re-elected, we’ll show them that we plan to hold them accountable. For those who were unseated, we’ll make this a legacy issue and show them that unless they support the CRA before they leave office, they will go down in history as one of the politicians that helped hasten the death of the free and open Internet.”
Evangeline Lilly, Bassnectar, Tom Morello, Justin Sun, Postmates, Namecheap, Cory Doctorow, Private Internet Access among donors
A number of well liked web companies and high profile individuals have banded together to back a crowdfunding effort launched by digital rights group Fight for the Future. Ant-Man and the Wasp star Evangeline Lilly, legendary guitarist Tom Morello, Tron CEO Justin Sun, author Cory Doctorow, and EDM hero Bassnectar are teaming up with companies like Postmates, Namecheap, and Private Internet Access matching Internet users’ donations to raise money for an epic final push for net neutrality as the deadline approaches for Congress to reverse the FCC’s repeal of open Internet protections.
Organizers hope to raise $100,000 to fund mass online protests, crowdfunded ad buys, and strategic in-district organizing pushing for House members to support the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to restore net neutrality before Congress adjourns at the end of the year. The full list of “Internet defenders” who are matching grassroots donations 100%, includes: Bassnectar, Cory Doctorow, Tom Morello, Evangeline Lilly, Private Internet Access, Justin Sun, AnchorFree, iFixit, Lookfar, Namecheap, Pornhub, Postmates, Startpage, Bittorrent, and Tron.
“These folks are taking on the telecom lobby machine and fighting for a free, open, and uncensored Internet,” said Tom Morello, “Net neutrality is the free speech fight of this generation and time is running out. It’s time for the Internet to rise up again.”
“This is not a partisan issue, the battle for the net is a fight for our most basic freedoms. People from across the entire political spectrum can agree that we don’t want anyone to control or manipulate what we see and do on the Internet,” added actress Evangeline Lilly (Lost, Ant-Man and the Wasp, The Hobbit).
“Given my deep belief in an open and decentralized internet, I support Donatefornetneutrality.com and urge others to do the same in this critical moment where Congress can still act in favor of net neutrality,” said Justin Sun, founder and CEO of TRON. “When the internet is free and open, it fosters innovation that benefits not just a few, but all of us. It’s our responsibility to protect these core values and push our community towards the cause.”
“Net neutrality is not dead yet. Not even close,” said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, “But time is running out on our best chance to get Congress to save the open Internet and give Ajit Pai the worst day of his political career. Comcast and AT&T’s lobbyists are doing everything they can to make sure Congress adjourns without addressing this. We have to make it something they can’t ignore.”
Creative protest highlights Congressman’s failure to sign CRA resolution after taking more than $70,000 from big telecom companies
Net neutrality activists have parked a truck outside a closely watched forum featuring Representative Steve Knight (R-CA) in Simi Valley, CA and unloaded a stack of boxes of “telecom money” as part of a creative protest pressuring the Congressman to support a House resolution to overrule the FCC’s repeal of open Internet protections.
The 16 foot truck is covered with a massive banner reading “Truckload of telecom money to kill net neutrality,” with a message allowing passersby to text KNIGHT to 687-88 to learn more and take action by contacting Rep. Knight. (Message and data rates apply, reply STOP to opt out.)
“The public deserves to know whether their elected officials are working for them or working on behalf of their corporate donors,” said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future (pronouns: she/her). “Representative Steve Knight has taken a truckload of money from the telecom industry, and so far he’s sat on his hands while the FCC gutted open Internet protections, allowing ISPs to control what we see and do online with censorship, throttling, and new fees. Representative Knight still has a chance to do the right thing, and based on polls he’d be smart to announce his support for net neutrality ahead of the midterms. The whole Internet is watching.”
The creative protest is part of a broader campaign to pressure House members to support the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to reverse the FCC’s repeal, which includes net neutrality telephone town halls in two dozen tight race districts, a VoteForNetNeutrality.com candidate scorecard, mass text blasts, and online mobilization.
Polls show that net neutrality will be a deciding issue for voters. Open Internet advocates want all candidates to go on the record about where they stand ahead of election day
Digital rights group Fight for the Future is working with local organizers to plan a series of telephone town halls in two dozen key districts across the country where voters can hear directly from candidates about where they stand on the FCC’s disastrous and unpopular repeal of net neutrality. The forums, which will take place via phone in 24 districts, will be co-sponsored by local organizations and small businesses. Hundreds of constituents are expected to RSVP for the events, and all candidates in each district have been invited. The forums will also enable constituents of sitting House members to call on their representatives to support the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to restore net neutrality.
“Net neutrality is a crucial issue for Texas and clearly one of the most talked about issues of this election cycle. Voters deserve to know where the candidates stand on preserving the free and open Internet,” said Jerri Glover of TX-13, who is helping organize the town hall in her district along with Amarillo Tech Meetup and other local groups.
Anthony Damore, a resident of FL-18 who will be participating on the town hall, hosted with Palm Beach Tech and other groups, said, “I plan to attend the Tele-town hall and make sure Congressman Mast knows why supporting Net Neutrality means supporting an Internet that prioritizes people over corporate interest, that videos and music aren’t subject to fast lanes and slow lanes ensuring only those with money get heard. Without Net Neutrality smaller companies would be helpless trying to keep their businesses afloat and turn a profit. Net Neutrality ensures we all have a voice!”
The town halls come as part of a larger Vote for Net Neutrality campaign to educate as many Internet users as possible about where current members of Congress stand on net neutrality. The groups behind the campaign plan to reach people in key districts with information about where the candidates stand, and mobilize them to pressure legislators to declare support for the CRA ahead of election day. Other activities include:
* Online actions promoting the VoteForNetNeutrality.com scorecard
* Candidate position alerts to the group’s combined 5 million+ supporters.
* Mass text messages to activate and inform net neutrality supporters across the country.
* Mobilizing websites, online communities, and social media users to pressure Congress to do the right thing ahead of election day
The announcement comes on the heels of a new study from Stanford University which found that nearly 100% of unique comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last year opposed the agency’s proposal to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order, which established strong rules preventing blocking, throttling, and paid fast lanes for Internet content.
In May the Senate passed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the FCC’s repeal in a historic bipartisan vote of 52-47. All that’s needed now is for a simple majority of 218 representatives in the House to sign a discharge petition and bring the CRA to a vote. Currently 177 members, including Republican Rep. Mike Coffman, have signed. Constituents are pressing lawmakers to join the ranks of representatives choosing their constituents over Big Cable by signing the discharge petition.
Activists will direct Internet users to VoteForNetNeutrality.com to pressure lawmakers facing tight races to sign CRA discharge petition or face the consequences on election day.
We’re two weeks away from the midterm elections and we need to educate as many people as possible about where their candidates stand on net neutrality before November 6th.
By now, I’m sure most of you are familiar with the FCC’s undemocratic repeal of net neutrality. The good news is that sitting members of Congress have the power to restore it using the Congressional Review Act (CRA) before the end of this year.
So we’re telling our elected officials: sign the discharge petition to restore net neutrality, or face the wrath of the Internet on Election Day.
Sitting members of Congress have had tons of time to do the right thing, but their time is almost up. We’re in the final crunch before election day and we need to make sure they know there is a massive voting block of people who care about this issue.
Here’s what you can do to help out:
* Get as many net neutrality supporters to vote for the first time as possible. Tell everyone to text VOTE to 687-88 to get started. (Message and data rates apply, reply STOP to opt out.) * Educate folks about where their candidates stand using the Vote for Net Neutrality scorecard. * Volunteer to text voters in key districts where our pressure calling for lawmakers to act can have the most impact. * Join a local action team to organize protests, pass out lawn signs, and do voter education at the polls in key districts. * Spread the word on Tumblr and wherever else you lurk. Click here to find Vote for Net Neutrality materials for sharing. * If you’re a voter who cares about net neutrality snap a selfie and share it with your friends and family on social media. It will look something like this:
In May, the Senate passed the CRA resolution to overturn the FCC’s repeal in a historic bipartisan vote of 52-47.
Now all we need is for a simple majority of 218 House representatives to sign a discharge petition and bring the CRA to a vote.
Right now 177 members, including Republican Rep. Mike Coffman, have already signed on. We just need your help to pressure lawmakers to choose their constituents ahead of telecom lobbyists by signing the discharge petition.