Fight for the Future


FCC now says it has no documentation of DDoS attack it claims took down website following John Oliver net neutrality segment

Posted 10:48 EDT on July 20, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, July 20, 2017
Contact: Evan Greer, press@fightforthefuture.org, 978-852-6457

Agency refuses to release hundreds of pages of documents related to alleged incident. Congress must demand answers.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) admitted last night that it has no “documented analysis” to back up its claim that a DDoS attack took down the agency’s public comment website immediately following a viral John Oliver segment about net neutrality in May.

The news comes in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Gizmodo – but the FCC refused to release more than 200 pages of additional documents related to the alleged incident. Fight for the Future, a  nonpartisan digital rights organization that played a lead role in the massive net neutrality day of action on July 12, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to campaign director Evan Greer (pronouns: she/her):

“At this point even supporters of Ajit Pai’s plan to gut online free speech protections have to be wondering: what is the FCC hiding?

This federal agency has a responsibility to maintain a functioning website for the public to comment on proceedings that have a profound impact on our economy, our democracy, and the future of the Internet.

It’s clear that the FCC has failed to perform this basic duty, and now they are refusing to release hundreds of pages of documents that could help shed light on what really happened here, and who, if anyone, has been attempting to interfere with the public comment process.

The public deserves to know whether former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai is protecting the person or organization behind these alleged DDoS attacks and the flood of fake comments using stolen identities that have tainted the FCC’s docket.

Net neutrality protections protect Internet users from extra fees, censorship, and throttling. Members of Congress who oversee the FCC must demand that the agency provide adequate answers to these serious questions surrounding their comment process before they make any decision about net neutrality rules that affect hundreds of millions of Internet users.”

Fight for the Future is one of the leading grassroots organizations fighting for net neutrality and Internet freedom. The group recently announced plans to crowdfund billboards to expose members of Congress who support the FCC’s plan to dismantle net neutrality protections, and launched a scorecard to make it easy for voters to learn where their lawmakers stand on the issue. The group also played a lead role in the massive July 12 day of action that drove millions of comments, emails, and phone calls to decision makers in support of the Title II rules.

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Fight for the Future statement in response to White House comments on FCC plan to dismantle net neutrality free speech protections

Posted 16:59 EDT on July 18, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, July 18, 2017
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

News reports today indicate that the White House has offered comments regarding the FCC’s plan to slash Title II based net neutrality protections that prevent companies like Comcast and AT&T from charging extra fees, or engaging in throttling, offering paid fast lanes, and censorship. Digital rights group Fight for the Future, a leading net neutrality organization that played a key role in the recent massive day of action on July 12, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to campaign director, Evan Greer (pronouns: she/her):

“The White House’s comments today are far from full throated support for the FCC’s plan, and underscore the reality that voters from across the political spectrum, including more than 75% of those who voted for Donald Trump, support strong net neutrality protections that keep the web free of extra fees, throttling, and censorship.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai is increasingly isolated – he has clearly misjudged the Republican base. No one wants companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T to have the power to decide what we can see and what we can say on the Internet.

The White House fell far short of supporting the FCC’s plan, and only noted that they are right to “review” the current rules. This is a clear signal that they know how unpopular the repeal of net neutrality rules is with voters, including conservatives and libertarians.

Net neutrality is the free speech fight of our generation. Internet users are outraged and paying attention. Decision makers in Washington, DC need to listen to the public, not just lobbyists from big telecom companies. When they do, they’ll realize that allowing the FCC to move forward with their plan to slash net neutrality protections will result in them being seen by constituents as enemies of the Internet, enemies of innovation, and enemies of freedom.”

Fight for the Future announced this morning plans to turn its focus to Congress, with a new wave of billboards focused on lawmakers who support the FCC’s plan, and a “congressional scorecard” to make it easy for voters to learn where their members stand.

Background on the historic July 12 net neutrality day of action:

Nearly all of the most popular websites on the web participated in a historic Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality on July 12, 2017 to oppose the FCC’s plan to slash Title II, the legal foundation for net neutrality rules that protect online free speech and innovation. A flood of web platforms small and large like Twitter, Reddit, Netflix, Spotify, 4chan, Airbnb, Amazon, Mozilla, OK Cupid, Vimeo, Tinder, Expedia, Pornhub, Imgur, Yelp, Spotify, and Soundcloud – along with a vast array of online communities from every corner of the Internet: gaming forums, YouTube creators, subreddits and more – displayed prominent protest messages to their users, encouraging them to take action by contacting the FCC and Congress through tools like BattleForTheNet.com that make it easy for Internet users to make their voices heard.

See PHOTOS, IMAGES, and DESCRIPTIONS of how participants are protesting here: http://imgur.com/a/vYVet

SEE A SAMPLING OF VIDEO COMMENTS here: https://vimeo.com/225341994/852009671a

There was so much activity on this day that organizers are still in the process of documenting and compiling it, but here are some initial numbers showing the scale of this massive event:

  • Tens of millions of people saw the protest messages on participating websites
  • Over 5 million emails to Congress (which will be delivered over coming days)
  • More than 2 million comments to the FCC (nearly tripling our Sept. 10th 2014 “Internet Slowdown” record for most in a single day)
  • More than 125,000 phone calls to Congress
  • #NetNeutrality trended on both Facebook and Twitter
  • Protesters went in person to more than 20 Congressional offices 
  • More than 125,000 websites, people, artists, online creators, and organizations signed up to participate in the initial call to protest
  • Celebrities flocked to support the effort including Pearl Jam, Wilco, Wil Wheaton, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Blues Traveler, Steven Fry, Mark Ruffalo, Laura Jane Grace, Kendrick Sampson, Amanda Palmer, Ted Leo, Samantha Bee, and many more.
  • Broad participation from every corner of the Internet: from online gaming communities to librarians to real estate sites to grassroots organizations to independent musicians. See a gallery here.
  • Facebook, Google, and Dropbox three of the largest Internet companies, came out publicly with strong statements in support of the current FCC rules. This is significant – especially given Facebook’s previous opposition to certain net neutrality rules, notably in India.

The effort is led by many of the grassroots groups behind the largest online protests in history including the SOPA blackout and the Internet Slowdown. Media attention for online mobilizations tends to focus on the big names participating, but there is a much more interesting story: a coalition of Internet activists huddled over their laptops in coworking spaces, home offices, and coffee shops, who are the ones who came up with the idea, called for, and organized the protest, and have since been working together to lay the groundwork, build the technical tools, and create the educational resources that make it possible for large and small websites to participate in these mass days of action. It’s a grassroots effort involving dozens of volunteers working together in Slack channels, outreach spreadsheets, endless email chains, organizing in online communities and forums, and an enormous amount of creativity and digital elbow grease.

The list of sites and apps participating has grown so quickly it’s almost impossible to keep up, but participants include Automattic (Wordpress), eBay, Rosetta Stone, Pinterest, Amazon, Mozilla, Netflix, Etsy, Kickstarter, Soundcloud, Dropbox, Spotify, Redfin, Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Medium, Y Combinator, GitHub, Pantheon, Opera, Bittorrent Inc., Shapeways, Nextdoor, Stack Overflow, Funny Or Die, Dreamhost, and CREDO Mobile, Goldenfrog, Fark, Chess.com, Namecheap, DuckDuckGo, Checkout.com, Sonic, Ting, ProtonMail, O’Reilly Media, SlashDot, Dribble, Dischord, SourceForge, and Union Square Ventures. Organizations participating include Fight for the Future, Free Press Action Fund, Demand Progress, Center for Media Justice, EFF,  Internet Association, Internet Archive, World Wide Web Foundation, Creative Commons, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Greenpeace, Common Cause, ACLU, Rock the Vote, American Library Association, Daily Kos, OpenMedia, The Nation, PCCC, MoveOn, OFA, Public Knowledge, OTI, Color of Change, MoveOn, Free Software Foundation, Internet Creators Guild, the Women’s March, and many others.

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Fight for the Future Statement Regarding Incorrect Billboard Report

Posted 15:26 EDT on July 18, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, July 18, 2017
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

This morning Fight for the Future announced plans to put up crowdfunded billboards focused on members of Congress who oppose net neutrality protections.

Rep Scalise’s name was incorrectly included in private emails to two reporters, due to a copy paste error, and reported by Politico. This error was immediately corrected once brought to our attention, and we regret the confusion it caused. We would obviously not run billboards against someone who is in the hospital, and wish Rep Scalise a speedy recovery.

As for the billboards focused on other members, Congress plays an important role overseeing the FCC, and voters deserve to know where their members stand. The goal of our billboards is to make sure that the public knows which members are supporting the FCC’s plan to dismantle important net neutrality protections.

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Net Neutrality activists set sights on Congress: plan to unleash new wave of billboards and scorecard for lawmakers following historic day of action

Posted 08:57 EDT on July 18, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, July 18, 2017
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

July 12 protest drove record numbers of comments, emails, and phone calls

Digital rights group Fight for the Future unveiled today the next steps in the battle for the future of the Internet: turning the focus on Congress – who have oversight over the FCC and whose actions will determine whether Ajit Pai’s unpopular plan moves forward – with a wave of crowdfunded billboards and a “congressional scorecard” on BattleForTheNet.com showing where lawmakers stand.

The group has already raised more than $50,000 toward the billboards, which will go up in the coming weeks targeting lawmakers who support FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to gut net neutrality rules that prevent companies like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon from charging extra fees, slowing down websites, and engaging in censorship. The congressional scorecard makes it easy for voters to quickly learn their representative’s positions, and impossible for members of Congress to hide from their constituents.

See the crowdfunding page for the billboards here: https://donate.fightforthefuture.org/campaigns/nnbillboards/#page-1

See the congressional scorecard here: https://www.battleforthenet.com/#scoreboard

“Internet users are pissed off and paying attention,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, “Any lawmaker that stands idly by and allows the FCC to gut these basic free speech protections that people from across the political spectrum overwhelmingly support will be seen as an enemy of the Internet and an enemy of free speech. These billboards, and the scorecard, are just the beginning.”

The group plans to initially put up billboards targeting House GOP leadership members who used a meeting last week to threaten tech companies who were participating in the historic net neutrality day of action on July 12 which drove millions of comments, emails and phone calls to decision makers, and saw broad participation from every corner of the Internet from major web platforms, startups, YouTubers, gamers, and forums like 4chan and reddit. The billboards will also mention lawmakers vote to gut Internet privacy rules that prevent ISPs from collecting and selling customer information to advertisers.

The congressional scorecard divides Congress into two camps: Team Internet (those who are speaking up to defend net neutrality rules that protect online free speech) and Team Cable (those who are supporting the FCC’s plan to dismantle those protections and give Cable companies control over our online experience.) Lawmakers on “Team Cable” should expect to be targeted with billboards in the coming weeks if they do not speak out against Ajit Pai’s plan.

The announcements of both the billboards and scorecard come as all eyes shift to the Senate where Ajit Pai is expected to be confirmed as commissioner this week in a largely procedural vote.

Background on the historic July 12 net neutrality day of action:

Nearly all of the most popular websites on the web participated in a historic Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality on July 12, 2017 to oppose the FCC’s plan to slash Title II, the legal foundation for net neutrality rules that protect online free speech and innovation. A flood of web platforms small and large like Twitter, Reddit, Netflix, Spotify, 4chan, Airbnb, Amazon, Mozilla, OK Cupid, Vimeo, Tinder, Expedia, Pornhub, Imgur, Yelp, Spotify, and Soundcloud – along with a vast array of online communities from every corner of the Internet: gaming forums, YouTube creators, subreddits and more – displayed prominent protest messages to their users, encouraging them to take action by contacting the FCC and Congress through tools like BattleForTheNet.com that make it easy for Internet users to make their voices heard.

See PHOTOS, IMAGES, and DESCRIPTIONS of how participants are protesting here: http://imgur.com/a/vYVet

SEE A SAMPLING OF VIDEO COMMENTS here: https://vimeo.com/225341994/852009671a

There was so much activity on this day that organizers are still in the process of documenting and compiling it, but here are some initial numbers showing the scale of this massive event:

  • Tens of millions of people saw the protest messages on participating websites
  • Over 5 million emails to Congress (which will be delivered over coming days)
  • More than 2 million comments to the FCC (nearly tripling our Sept. 10th 2014 “Internet Slowdown” record for most in a single day)
  • More than 125,000 phone calls to Congress
  • #NetNeutrality trended on both Facebook and Twitter
  • Protesters went in person to more than 20 Congressional offices 
  • More than 125,000 websites, people, artists, online creators, and organizations signed up to participate in the initial call to protest
  • Celebrities flocked to support the effort including Pearl Jam, Wilco, Wil Wheaton, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Blues Traveler, Steven Fry, Mark Ruffalo, Laura Jane Grace, Kendrick Sampson, Amanda Palmer, Ted Leo, Samantha Bee, and many more.
  • Broad participation from every corner of the Internet: from online gaming communities to librarians to real estate sites to grassroots organizations to independent musicians. See a gallery here.
  • Facebook, Google, and Dropbox three of the largest Internet companies, came out publicly with strong statements in support of the current FCC rules. This is significant – especially given Facebook’s previous opposition to certain net neutrality rules, notably in India.

The effort is led by many of the grassroots groups behind the largest online protests in history including the SOPA blackout and the Internet Slowdown. Media attention for online mobilizations tends to focus on the big names participating, but there is a much more interesting story: a coalition of Internet activists huddled over their laptops in coworking spaces, home offices, and coffee shops, who are the ones who came up with the idea, called for, and organized the protest, and have since been working together to lay the groundwork, build the technical tools, and create the educational resources that make it possible for large and small websites to participate in these mass days of action. It’s a grassroots effort involving dozens of volunteers working together in Slack channels, outreach spreadsheets, endless email chains, organizing in online communities and forums, and an enormous amount of creativity and digital elbow grease.

The list of sites and apps participating has grown so quickly it’s almost impossible to keep up, but participants include Automattic (Wordpress), eBay, Rosetta Stone, Pinterest, Amazon, Mozilla, Netflix, Etsy, Kickstarter, Soundcloud, Dropbox, Spotify, Redfin, Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Medium, Y Combinator, GitHub, Pantheon, Opera, Bittorrent Inc., Shapeways, Nextdoor, Stack Overflow, Funny Or Die, Dreamhost, and CREDO Mobile, Goldenfrog, Fark, Chess.com, Namecheap, DuckDuckGo, Checkout.com, Sonic, Ting, ProtonMail, O’Reilly Media, SlashDot, Dribble, Dischord, SourceForge, and Union Square Ventures. Organizations participating include Fight for the Future, Free Press Action Fund, Demand Progress, Center for Media Justice, EFF,  Internet Association, Internet Archive, World Wide Web Foundation, Creative Commons, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Greenpeace, Common Cause, ACLU, Rock the Vote, American Library Association, Daily Kos, OpenMedia, The Nation, PCCC, MoveOn, OFA, Public Knowledge, OTI, Color of Change, MoveOn, Free Software Foundation, Internet Creators Guild, the Women’s March, and many others.

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UPDATE: Historic day of action for Net Neutrality breaks records: more than 2 million comments to FCC, millions of emails and phone calls to Congress

Posted 12:01 EDT on July 13, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, July 13, 2017
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

More than 125,000 websites, Internet users, and organizations participated in a massive online protest against the FCC’s plan to gut protections that keep the web free from censorship, throttling, and extra fees. Protesters gathered in DC and showed up at Congressional district offices, celebs weigh in

Nearly all of the most popular websites on the web participated in a historic Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality yesterday to oppose the FCC’s plan to slash Title II, the legal foundation for net neutrality rules that protect online free speech and innovation. A flood of web platforms small and large like Twitter, Reddit, Netflix, Spotify, 4chan, Airbnb, Amazon, Mozilla, OK Cupid, Vimeo, Tinder, Expedia, Pornhub, Imgur, Yelp, Spotify, and Soundcloud – along with a vast array of online communities from every corner of the Internet: gaming forums, YouTube creators, subreddits and more – displayed prominent protest messages to their users, encouraging them to take action by contacting the FCC and Congress through tools like BattleForTheNet.com that make it easy for Internet users to make their voices heard.

See PHOTOS, IMAGES, and DESCRIPTIONS of how participants are protesting here: http://imgur.com/a/vYVet

SEE A SAMPLING OF VIDEO COMMENTS here: https://vimeo.com/225341994/852009671a

There has been such a surge in activity – and the traffic is STILL coming in – that organizers are still scrambling to document everything that has happened but so far through the BattleForTheNet.com site alone (not including the Internet Association’s page or other aligned efforts) we’ve seen:

IMPORTANT NOTE: these numbers STILL represent only a portion of the final totals, and due to the massive numbers, comments and emails will be delivered over several days.  We will release additional updates as we continue documenting what has happened:

  • Tens of millions of people saw the protest messages on participating websites
  • Over 5 million emails to Congress (which will be delivered over coming days)
  • More than 2 million comments to the FCC (nearly tripling our Sept. 10th 2014 “Internet Slowdown” record for most in a single day)
  • 124,000 phone calls to Congress
  • #NetNeutrality trended on both Facebook and Twitter
  • Protesters went in person to more than 20 Congressional offices 
  • More than 125,000 websites, people, artists, online creators, and organizations signed up to participate in the initial call to protest
  • Celebrities flocked to support the effort including Pearl Jam, WilcoWil Wheaton, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Blues Traveler, Steven Fry, Mark Ruffalo, Laura Jane Grace, Kendrick Sampson, Amanda Palmer, Ted Leo, Samantha Bee, and many more.
  • Broad participation from every corner of the Internet: from online gaming communities to librarians to real estate sites to grassroots organizations to independent musicians. See a gallery here.
  • NOTE: The volume of participation was so high that the FCC has been “rate limiting” submissions into their docket – there are an enormous number of comments queued up that will be submitted into their system before the July 17 deadline, as fast as their system can handle them. The same is true for emails to Congress members, which will be delivered in the days to come.
  • Facebook, Google, and Dropbox three of the largest Internet companies, came out publicly with strong statements in support of the current FCC rules. This is significant – especially given Facebook’s previous opposition to certain net neutrality rules, notably in India.

Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, one of the leading groups behind the protest, issued the following statement (pronouns: she/hers): 

“This was a historic moment when the Internet is realizing it’s power—with massive amounts of creative activism spreading to every corner of the Internet, from the smallest and weirdest nooks and crannies of the web to the most popular websites on earth. And this doesn’t end today—this protest is the kickoff of a sustained campaign to keep the pressure on lawmakers and the FCC to do the right thing. This is just our opening salvo, and it’s a massive one.

“The FCC needs to listen to the public, not just lobbyists from big cable companies. No one wants companies like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon to have control over what we can see and do online, or to have to pay them extra fees to access the content we want. The Internet is outraged by censorship and corruption, this is our moment to to defend net neutrality and fight for the future of freedom of expression.

“Lawmakers in Washington, DC need to understand that if they stand idly by and allow the FCC to gut these rules that are overwhelmingly supported by voters from across the political spectrum, they will be seen as enemies of the Internet and enemies of free speech.”

Pierce Stanley, technology fellow at Demand Progress, which co-led the effort:

“Today, the largest web platforms in the world, scrappy activist organizations, and individuals from across the political spectrum came together online and in-person to make their voices heard.

“Americans took to the internet to stand up for the rights to communicate freely, to organize, and to innovate online.  Ajit Pai’s plan to undermine net neutrality and stifle online speech would endanger these ways we use the internet, and could even make it harder – or impossible – to organize protests like today’s.

“Ajit Pai may think big cable’s interests are more important than the public’s, but today’s activism makes it clear that few outside the boardrooms of Comcast or AT&T agree. A large majority of Americans of all political persuasions support net neutrality, and their voices were heard loud and clear. Today was the first step in taking back the internet from Pai and his cable cabal.”

Candace Clement, campaign director for Free Press Action Fund, which co-led the effort:

“People used the internet to save the internet today. That’s because the Trump FCC’s push to ​destroy​ ​Net Neutrality's​ ​legal foundation​ ​isn’t fooling anyone​.

“We know that the open internet is critical for marginalized communities that ​​corporate media have misrepresented; that it’s essential for free speech and political organizing online; and that tech entrepreneurs need an open network to survive just as much as working families​ do​.

“Today we all joined together to stop FCC Chairman Pai’s quest to destroy the Net Neutrality safeguards that are ​crucial​ to everyone’s right to connect and communicate. And we’re going to stick with this fight for as long as it takes to preserve the open internet protections the majority of Americans demand.”

Malkia Cyril, executive director of the Center for Media Justice which co-led the effort, said:

“Today, thousands of people of color and civil rights leaders raised our voices to say loud and clear: we won’t let our internet become like cable TV, a white, middle class, and male bastion where we are shouted down daily. We’ll keep joining with allies of all kinds across the lines of difference to fight for our digital voice, and ensure that an open Internet protected by Title II net neutrality delivers political power and economic opportunity for those long excluded from both. The stakes are too high to do anything less.”

The effort is led by many of the grassroots groups behind the largest online protests in history including the SOPA blackout and the Internet Slowdown. Media attention for online mobilizations tends to focus on the big names participating, but there is a much more interesting story: a coalition of Internet activists huddled over their laptops in coworking spaces, home offices, and coffee shops, who are the ones who came up with the idea, called for, and organized the protest, and have since been working together to lay the groundwork, build the technical tools, and create the educational resources that make it possible for large and small websites to participate in these mass days of action. It’s a grassroots effort involving dozens of volunteers working together in Slack channels, outreach spreadsheets, endless email chains, organizing in online communities and forums, and an enormous amount of creativity and digital elbow grease.

The list of sites and apps participating has grown so quickly it’s almost impossible to keep up, but participants include Automattic (Wordpress), eBay, Rosetta Stone, Pinterest, Amazon, Mozilla, Netflix, Etsy, Kickstarter, Soundcloud, Dropbox, Spotify, Redfin, Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Medium, Y Combinator, GitHub, Pantheon, Opera, Bittorrent Inc., Shapeways, Nextdoor, Stack Overflow, Funny Or Die, Dreamhost, and CREDO Mobile, Goldenfrog, Fark, Chess.com, Namecheap, DuckDuckGo, Checkout.com, Sonic, Ting, ProtonMail, O’Reilly Media, SlashDot, Dribble, Dischord, SourceForge, and Union Square Ventures. Organizations participating include Fight for the Future, Free Press Action Fund, Demand Progress, Center for Media Justice, EFF,  Internet Association, Internet Archive, World Wide Web Foundation, Creative Commons, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Greenpeace, Common Cause, ACLU, Rock the Vote, American Library Association, Daily Kos, OpenMedia, The Nation, PCCC, MoveOn, OFA, Public Knowledge, OTI, Color of Change, MoveOn, Free Software Foundation, Internet Creators Guild, the Women’s March, and many others.

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