Fight for the Future


Over 500 small businesses sign open letter to FCC and Congress urging them to preserve Title II net neutrality protections

Posted 11:08 EDT on August 31, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, August 31, 2017
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

Businesses from across the US tell lawmakers how losing net neutrality would threaten their ability to reach customers and grow their businesses online

August 31, 2017 – Late yesterday, a group of over 500 small businesses and trade associations from across the country signed an open letter raising concerns over the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) plan to repeal net neutrality. The letter, filed with the FCC by the American Sustainable Business Council, warns that “weakening or rolling back the 2015 protections would be disastrous for the country’s business community” who for decades have relied on open access to the open Internet to do business.

The signatories–ranging from dentist offices to sporting goods stores–highlight how the FCC’s proposed changes would put smaller business at a disadvantage with larger companies. Without strong protections Internet service providers (ISPs) would be permitted to block websites, slow traffic, or charge new access fees. The businesses warn policymakers that, “While big companies might be able to afford a pay-to-play prioritized ‘fast lane’ to users, small and medium sized enterprises like ours cannot.”

Small and medium sized businesses are encouraged to sign on, as names are being added on rolling basis at KeepTheWebOpenForBusiness.com.

“These businesses represent their founders’ dreams for a better life and a better world—and they’re how many families put food on the table and pay their bills each month,” said Fight for the Future co-founder Holmes Wilson, “The FCC’s plan to end net neutrality puts businesses like these—and the livelihoods of the millions of people that depend on them—in grave danger.”

The letter was filed on the final day of the FCC’s controversial net neutrality consultation, which sparked millions of comments, emails, and phone calls in support of Title II following the July 12th day of action. Earlier this week digital rights group Fight for the Future released a second wave of billboards targeting members of Congress who support the FCC’s repeal, building on an initial round of six billboards from earlier this month. The ads are currently running in nine different states while lawmakers are back in their home districts.

Fight for the Future is best known for their role in the massive online protests against SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, and continues to organize many of the largest protests in the history of the Internet. They recently organized the high profile Rock Against the TPP tour, as well as historic July 12th Internet-wide day of action to save net neutrality. Learn more at FightFortheFuture.org

###

Read More...
Share on:

Cable industry’s own study shows their plan to kill net neutrality is as unpopular as ever

Posted 11:44 EDT on August 30, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, August 30, 2017
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

While FCC’s refusal to address cybersecurity issues and fake comments creates intentional confusion around data, unique comments are overwhelmingly in favor of Title II net neutrality— by more than 73 to 1

Today, the telecom industry is touting a study funded by cable lobby group Broadband for America regarding the millions of comments submitted to the FCC’s public docket surrounding the agency’s plan to gut Title II net neutrality rules that prevent companies like AT&T and Verizon from charging extra fees, throttling apps and services, and censoring online content.

The most telling statistic in the report is that the unique comments in the docket – the ones that people took the extra time to write themselves – are overwhelmingly in favor of Title II net neutrality protections, by more than 73 to 1.

So the telecom industry’s own study essentially shows what nearly all other polling on this issue has shown: that they are getting trounced when it comes to public opinion, and people from across the political spectrum overwhelmingly agree that they don’t want their ISPs to have control over what they can see and do on the Internet.

The report also highlights that the data in the FCC docket is a mess. Fight for the Future has been working with a group of tech volunteers to analyze this data as well, and will be releasing our findings soon.

Much of the reporting on this study draws a false equivalence between real comments from real people gathered through grassroots activism campaigns with massive public participation – and completely fraudulent comments that use names and addresses from breached databases, or completely fake information.

Sadly, this confusion appears to be by design. Under Ajit Pai’s leadership, the FCC has repeatedly refused to address serious cybersecurity and transparency issues surrounding their public comment process, from the now debunked claims of DDoS attacks to the confirmed fraudulent comments that the agency won’t remove from its docket.

The agency is sabotaging the legitimacy of its own proceeding in a cynical attempt to spread confusion about something that is actually as clear as day: the majority of the voices calling for the end of net neutrality protections are those bought and paid for by the industry that stands to gain unprecedented control of our online experience if they succeed in rigging the game and gutting these consumer protections at the FCC or through bad legislation billed as a “compromise.”

###

Read More...
Share on:

Net neutrality advocates release more crowdfunded billboards exposing key lawmakers who are supporting the FCC’s net neutrality repeal

Posted 12:16 EDT on August 29, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, August 29, 2017
Contact: Evan Greer, press@fightforthefuture.org, 978-852-6457

New billboards in three states single out members of Congress who support the FCC’s plan to gut rules stopping ISPs from charging new fees, slowing traffic, or blocking websites

Today digital rights organization Fight for the Future unveiled 3 more crowdfunded billboards targeting Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Bob Latta, and Greg Walden, members of Congress who have publicly supported the FCC’s efforts to gut net neutrality protections that keep the web free from censorship, throttling, and extra fees. The three new billboards are the latest in an ongoing campaign focused on lawmakers who oppose Internet freedom. Earlier this month the group launched an initial round of net neutrality billboards targeting six different lawmakers in states across the country.

The move comes just hours before the FCC’s final deadline for public input on their controversial plan to repeal net neutrality. With lawmakers still in their home districts, the billboards - paid for by hundreds of small donations - appear in three different states.

See PHOTOS of the 3 new billboards here: https://imgur.com/a/UHfXJ

Since the massive July 12th day of action, millions have contacted their representatives – who have oversight over the FCC – to ensure these key protections are not changed or removed. The billboards send a strong message to any Members of Congress contemplating support for the FCC’s plan to repeal net neutrality, which is currently being tracked through a congressional scorecardon BattleForTheNet.com. So far very few lawmakers have been willing to publicly support Ajit Pai’s plan, likely in light of polling that shows voters – including Republicans – overwhelmingly oppose it.

The billboards encourage constituents to contact their elected representatives; for example, Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Rep. Greg Walden’s (R-OR) billboard in Medford, Oregon asks, “Want slower, more expensive Internet? Rep. Walden supports CenturyLink’s plan to destroy net neutrality. Ask him why: (541) 776-4646.”

The outdoor ads feature some of the few members of Congress who came out with early support for FCC’s plan to repeal net neutrality rules, including:

  • Spokane, WA – Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (N. Monroe Street at W. Broadway Ave)
  • Findlay, OH – Rep. Bob Latta (corner of E Main Cross St and East St.)
  • Medford, OR – Rep. Greg Walden (N. Pacific Hwy at Elm Ave)

“It doesn’t matter which party you’re in, or how charming you are on TV – if you attack net neutrality and Internet freedom we will make sure everyone knows that you’re corrupt to the core” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future (pronouns: she/hers), “every member of Congress should take note: supporting the FCC’s plan to allow censorship, throttling, and price gouging may get you a few extra campaign donations from big telecom companies, but it will infuriate your constituents, and will come with a serious political cost.”

The billboards highlight the increasing scrutiny on Congress - who have important oversight authority over the FCC. With no viable legislation on the table, net neutrality supporters remain opposed to any attempt at legislation that would undermine the strong rules at the FCC, which were fought for by millions of Americans, and are calling on lawmakers to publicly oppose Ajit Pai’s plan, and require the FCC to act with transparency and address serious irregularities in its rulemaking process.

Fight for the Future was also one of the leading organizations behind the historic Internet-Wide Day of Action for Net Neutrality on July 12, which drove a record breaking 2 million+ comments to the FCC and Congress in a single day. Learn more at fightforthefuture.org

###

Read More...
Share on:

Net neutrality activists launch crowdfunded billboards targeting key members of Congress during August recess

Posted 09:51 EDT on August 15, 2017
image

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, August 15, 2017
Contact: Tiffiniy Cheng, 413-367-6255, press@fightforthefuture.org

Billboards in six states single out lawmakers who support the FCC’s plan to gut key safeguards preventing ISPs from charging new fees, slowing traffic, or blocking websites

Today digital rights organization Fight for the Future unleashed a series of crowdfunded billboards targeting lawmakers who support FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s efforts to repeal the country’s net neutrality rules.

With members of Congress back in their home districts, the billboards - paid for by hundreds of small donations - appear in six different states just weeks before the FCC’s final deadline for public input on their proposal to gut net neutrality rules that prevent companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T from charging extra fees, throttling, or blocking websites, apps, and online services.

See PHOTOS of some of the billboards here: https://imgur.com/a/lhEko

Since the massive July 12th day of action, millions have contacted their representatives – who have oversight over the FCC – to ensure these key protections are not changed or removed. The billboards send a strong message to any Members of Congress contemplating support for the FCC’s plan to repeal net neutrality, which is currently being tracked through a congressional scorecard” on BattleForTheNet.com. So far very few lawmakers have been willing to publicly support Ajit Pai’s plan, likely in light of polling that shows voters – including Republicans – overwhelmingly oppose it.

image

The billboards encourage constituents to contact their elected representatives; for example, Speaker Paul Ryan’s billboard in Janesville, WI asks, “Want slower, more expensive Internet? Rep. Paul Ryan supports Charter’s plan to destroy net neutrality. Ask him why: (608) 752-4050.”

The outdoor ads feature some of the few members of Congress who came out with early support for FCC’s plan to repeal net neutrality rules, including:

“Politicians need to learn that they can’t attack free speech on the Internet and expect to get away with it,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future (pronouns: she/hers), “Voters from across the political spectrum all agree that they don’t want companies like Comcast and Verizon dictating what they can see and do online. No one is fooled by corrupt lawmakers’ attempts to push for bad legislation while they strip Internet users of protections at the FCC. Hundreds of people donated to make these billboards possible. When you come for the Internet, the Internet comes for you.”

image

The billboards highlight the increasing scrutiny on Congress - who have important oversight authority over the FCC. With no viable legislation on the table, net neutrality supporters remain opposed to any attempt at legislation that would undermine the strong rules at the FCC, which were fought for by millions of Americans, and are calling on lawmakers to publicly oppose Ajit Pai’s plan, and require the FCC to act with transparency and address serious irregularities in its rulemaking process.

Fight for the Future was also one of the leading organizations behind the historic Internet-Wide Day of Action for Net Neutrality on July 12, which drove a record breaking 2 million+ comments to the FCC and Congress in a single day. Learn more at fightforthefuture.org

image

SOURCES FOR BILLBOARDS:

Where do the featured lawmakers stand?

What is at stake if we lose strong net neutrality rules?

“Under the current net neutrality rules, broadband providers like Comcast and Charter, and wireless providers like AT&T and Verizon, can’t block or slow down your access to lawful content, nor can they create so-called “fast lanes” for content providers who are willing to pay extra.”  Source: WIRED

‘In dispute are a set of U.S. federal regulations saying that internet providers should not slow down, block or charge websites extra fees while treating other sites differently. The Federal Communications Commission is currently weighing how to repeal those so-called “net neutrality” rules, in a move that’s expected to benefit internet providers such as Verizon and AT&T.’ Source: The Washington Post

###

Read More...
Share on:

BREAKING: former FCC security employee destroys agency’s claims of DDoS attacks following John Oliver net neutrality segments

Posted 14:29 EDT on August 7, 2017
image

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, August 7, 2017
Contact: Evan Greer, press@fightforthefuture.org, 978-852-6457

Bombshell story from Gizmodo underscores need for FCC to address serious issues with its public comment process before making any decision on net neutrality. 15,000+ people call on lawmakers to demand that FCC comply with transparency laws

In a bombshell story from Gizmodo today, a former FCC security employee lays waste to the agency’s claims that a pair of DDoS attacks took down the FCC comment website at the exact moments when large amounts of pro net neutrality comments would have been flooding into the docket following viral segments from comedian John Oliver in 2014 and 2017. The agency’s inability to maintain a functional way for the public to comment on its net neutrality proceedings has become an issue of concern for members of Congress overseeing the agency, and raises questions about how it can or should move forward with its rulemaking process.

The security expert who spoke to Gizmodo reveals that the FCC security team concluded that there had not been a malicious attack after the John Oliver segment in 2014. But until-recent FCC CIO David Bray told reporters that anyway, despite the fact there was no evidence of it, and he did not even have access to the types of logs and information that could have led him to that conclusion. The source also leaked a photo of the FCC’s server room to Gizmodo, revealing a mess of wires that would make any competent IT professional cringe.

When pressed, Bray admitted to being the source of news reports about the made up “hacking” attack, but he never reported the incident to the Department of Homeland Security, who require that government agencies notify them of such attacks. With the backing of the FCC press office, Bray fed reporters that exact same story when the agency’s comment system collapsed again this year, preventing large numbers of people from making their voices heard in the agency’s proceeding.

Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, said: “These latest revelations are outrageous. A senior FCC official intentionally misled the public and invented cyber attacks to cover up the fact that the agency is failing at their responsibility to maintain a functioning system to receive feedback about an issue that affects every single person using the Internet. The FCC must address these serious issues with their comment process before moving forward, or it will be clear that this is a rogue agency that answers only to large telecom companies, and not to the American people.”

The news comes after more than 15,000 people signed a petition calling on their lawmakers to instruct the FCC to comply with transparency laws as the agency moves ahead with its unpopular plan to gut net neutrality protections that prevent ISPs from charging extra fees, throttling, or blocking content online.

The agency is currently facing multiple lawsuits for refusing to release information related to the now-debunked DDoS claims, Chairman Ajit Pai’s discussions with telecom companies,  large amounts of fake comments using real people’s names and addresses without their permission.

“Members of Congress need to understand that this is not an issue they can ignore or hide from,” Greer added, “Voters from across the political spectrum overwhelmingly support the current net neutrality rules, and want their Senators and Representatives to do their job and speak out to ensure that the FCC is listening to the will of the public, not just to lobbyists from giant telecom companies. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle need to exercise their oversight and demand that the FCC act transparently during this proceeding.”

Fight for the Future has been working to inform the public about the serious issues surrounding the FCC’s comment process. The group organized a letter from dozens of people whose names and addresses were used to submit anti net neutrality comments without their permission, as well as several petitions garnering tens of thousands of signatures calling on the agency to come clean about the alleged DDoS attack that prevented concerned citizens from submitting comments.

Fight for the Future was also one of the leading organizations behind the historic Internet-Wide Day of Action for Net Neutrality on July 12, which drove a record breaking 2 million+ comments to the FCC and Congress in a single day. Learn more at fightforthefuture.org

###

Read More...
Share on: