Fight for the Future


BREAKING: Senate passes resolution to restore net neutrality in historic upset, amid massive public outcry over FCC repeal

Posted 15:48 EDT on May 16, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 16, 2018
Contact: Evan Greer, press@fightforthefuture.org, 978-852-6457

Amid massive online protests and unprecedented public engagement including more than 16 million emails, calls, and messages to lawmakers in recent months, the US Senate has passed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to block the FCC’s overwhelmingly unpopular repeal of net neutrality.

The measure passed 52 to 47 with Republicans Susan Collins (R-ME), John Kennedy (R-LA), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) voting yes. The last minute Republican support for the measure bodes well for its chances in the House, where net neutrality supporters plan to wage a fierce battle to force a vote.

Fight for the Future, a digital rights group that has mobilized millions to speak out on net neutrality, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to deputy director, Evan Greer (pronouns: she/her):

“This is a historic victory for the free and open Internet, and a major step forward for the future of free expression and democracy. But we’re just getting started.

When the FCC repealed net neutrality they unleashed the fury of the Internet, and it led to a backlash unlike anything ever seen before. People from across the political spectrum, from the far left to the far right, can all agree: they don’t want their cable company to control where they get their news and information, how they listen to music, or where they can stream videos.

The fight for net neutrality is about freedom. Companies like Comcast and AT&T want the power to manipulate what we see and do online. People want the freedom to choose, to connect, and to express themselves.

The FCC has announced that net neutrality protections will officially end on June 11th. The Internet will surely light up in protest on that day, but the fight will continue long after that. The ISPs are pushing for bad legislation that kneecaps net neutrality while claiming to save it. Internet users will not be fooled.

Now that the CRA resolution has passed the Senate, every House member has a choice to make: will they side with some of the most hated companies in America, or will they listen to the overwhelming majority of their constituents and small businesses in their districts, and vote to keep the Internet free from censorship, throttling, and expensive new fees.

The Internet is watching. We’re organized. We’re ruthless. We’re not accepting anything less than real net neutrality. And we’re going to win.”

Some quick links for background:

  • Net neutrality supporters have driven more than 16 million contacts to Congress through BattleForTheNet.com alone calling on lawmakers to stop the FCC repeal 
  • More than 6,000 small businesses signed on to an open letter in support of the CRA
  • Net neutrality supporters have crowdfunded billboards and newspaper ads highlighting the concerns of small businesses 
  • Thousands of major websites and apps including Etsy, Tumblr, Tinder, Foursquare, Reddit, OK Cupid, participated in mass “Red Alert” protests ahead of the vote

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Fight for the Future statement on AT&T’s payments to Michael Cohen

Posted 12:47 EDT on May 11, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 11, 2018
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

There have been a flurry of news reports this week that AT&T paid $600,000 to President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, with the payments stopping in January, 2018 right after Trump’s FCC chairman moved to repeal net neutrality, something AT&T had lobbied fiercely for. Today, it was announced that one of AT&T’s top lobbyists is stepping down amid the scandal.

Fight for the Future, a nonpartisan digital rights group behind the largest online protests around net neutrality, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to Deputy Director Evan Greer (pronouns: she/her):

“These payments are sketchy as hell. AT&T paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to a sitting president’s personal attorney, while that president’s FCC chairman was actively handing AT&T everything they could ever want. Every member of Congress, regardless of political party, should be concerned about this and demanding answers. And every lawmaker now has an even greater responsibility to vote for the CRA resolution to ensure that net neutrality protections don’t lapse while there’s a thorough investigation into this corruption.

Given AT&T’s long history of funding astroturf groups, making hefty campaign contributions to curry political influence, and paying for misleading ads to confuse the public, these payments to Michael Cohen should be seen as status quo, not an exception. A changing of the guard in their lobbying operation won’t make a difference. This is a company that prefers to milk its political influence rather than innovate and provide better service to its customers.

The FCC’s announcement this week that net neutrality rules will officially end on June 11th shows that AT&T got what they paid for. The overwhelming majority of people in this country want their lawmakers to vote to save net neutrality. Will our elected officials listen to us, their constituents? Or will they money that AT&T paid them in campaign contributions speak louder? The Senate CRA vote is a test of our democracy.”

The Internet remains on Red Alert as the Senate heads toward a crucial vote to overrule the FCC’s overwhelmingly unpopular repeal of net neutrality. Many of the most popular web services, as well as a broad coalition of small businesses and public interest groups, are participating in mass online protests rallying Internet users to contact their lawmakers.

See the latest list of participants here: https://www.battleforthenet.com/redalert

See a gallery of screenshots of how sites and apps are participating here: https://imgur.com/a/UGn3gyP (will be updated throughout the week)

Across the web, sites and apps like Tumblr, Tinder, Etsy, Foursquare, Ask.com, Wikimedia, Pornhub, Ok Cupid, Investopedia, Reddit, Chess.com, GitHub, Dictionary.com, BoingBoing, Imgur, Private Internet Access, Bittorrent, Fark, The Nation, Consumer Reports, Foursquare, Postmates, and Gandi.net have run widgets, banners, and alerts to drive phone calls, emails, and tweets to Congress.

Companies like Airbnb, Twitter, Netflix, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yelp, Amazon, Twilio, Salesforce, and Sonos  also affirmed their support for net neutrality ahead of the vote.

Thousands of other large and small websites are expected to join. Behind the push are Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, and Free Press Action Fund, the groups that run BattleForTheNet.com and have been responsible for the largest online protests in history. They’ve helped drive millions of phone calls, emails, and tweets to lawmakers in recent years.

The Senate is expected to vote on Wednesday.

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Red Alert for Net Neutrality protests continue as Senate vote approaches

Posted 07:54 EDT on May 9, 2018
image

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 9, 2018
Contact: Evan Greer, press@fightforthefuture.org, 978-852-6457

Tumblr, Etsy, Pornhub, OK Cupid, GitHub, Lyft, Tinder, Match.com, Ask.com, Wikimedia, Reddit, and tons of others join net neutrality activists to rally Internet users to contact lawmakers ahead of Senate vote

The Internet remains on Red Alert as the Senate heads toward a crucial vote to overrule the FCC’s overwhelmingly unpopular repeal of net neutrality. Many of the most popular web services, as well as a broad coalition of small businesses and public interest groups, are participating in mass online protests rallying Internet users to contact their lawmakers. 

The groups behind the protest also released statistics ahead of the vote showing that more than 16 million actions calling on Congress to stop the FCC’s repeal 

See the latest list of participants here: https://www.battleforthenet.com/redalert

See a gallery of screenshots of how sites and apps are participating here: https://imgur.com/a/UGn3gyP (will be updated throughout the week)

Across the web, sites and apps like Tumblr, Tinder, Etsy, Foursquare, Ask.com, Wikimedia, Pornhub, Ok Cupid, Investopedia, Reddit, Chess.com, GitHub, Dictionary.com, BoingBoing, Imgur, Private Internet Access, Bittorrent, Fark, The Nation, Consumer Reports, Foursquare, Postmates, Medium, and Gandi.net have run widgets, banners, and alerts to drive phone calls, emails, and tweets to Congress. 

Companies like Airbnb, Twitter, Netflix, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yelp, Amazon, Twilio, Salesforce, and Sonos  also affirmed their support for net neutrality ahead of the vote. 

Thousands of other large and small websites are expected to join. Behind the push are Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, and Free Press Action Fund, the groups that run BattleForTheNet.com and have been responsible for the largest online protests in history. They’ve helped drive millions of phone calls, emails, and tweets to lawmakers in recent years.

The CRA lets just 30 senators force a vote to overturn a recently-issued federal agency rule. On May 9th, senators will present a petition to force a vote on a resolution that would undo the FCC’s net neutrality rollback. If the resolution passes into law, it will restore the strong net neutrality protections that were put in place in 2015. The CRA faces an uphill battle to reach the 218 discharge petition signatures needed to force a vote in the House, but net neutrality activists plan to wage a fierce fight there to convince Republican lawmakers to side with their constituents and small businesses in their districts on the issue. Regardless, the outcome of the Senate vote will impact the net neutrality fight for years to come.

“The Internet is lighting up in protest once again, because this Senate vote will impact the future of the Web for years to come,” said Evan Greer, Deputy Director of Fight for the Future, “This is the most important moment in tech policy since the FCC repeal, and everyone should be paying attention. This is the moment for entire web to come together to fight. Net neutrality is not a partisan issue outside of Washington, DC. Now we need to get DC to catch up with the rest of the country.”

“Congress is fast approaching one of the most consequential votes on internet policy and free expression this century,” said Demand Progress Director of Communications Mark Stanley. “Lawmakers are going to have to make a choice, and the sides are clear. They can join with big cable companies that want to control the internet for profit. Or they can stand with the millions of Americans who rely on the open internet for news, entertainment and communication, as well as small business owners who depend on it for their livelihoods. The stakes are extremely high, and from now until the resolution hits the floor, the internet will be mobilizing on a massive scale to force Congress to vote ‘yes’ for net neutrality.”

“Congress has the chance to rewind a terrible Trump administration policy decision, and one of its least popular, too,” said Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press Action Fund. “Net Neutrality is overwhelmingly supported by people across the political spectrum: Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike. The FCC’s disastrous vote late last year led to a historic outcry Congress must not ignore. There’s only one way to stand up for real Net Neutrality — and to stand on the right side of history — and that’s by voting for the resolution of disapproval to restore these essential safeguards. The public will be closely watching who’s looking out for them and who’s only serving phone and cable lobbyists.”

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Momentum grows as major sites and apps plan to “go red” ahead of historic net neutrality vote

Posted 10:47 EDT on May 3, 2018
image

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 3, 2018
Contact: Evan Greer, press@fightforthefuture.org, 978-852-6457

Reddit, Tinder, Mozilla, OK Cupid, GitHub, Tumblr, Etsy, Pornhub, Foursquare, Match.com, and thousands of other sites are planning to participate in Red Alert for Net Neutrality push starting Wednesday

Momentum is growing for a massive online protest as Internet activists, major web companies, online forums, and small businesses are preparing to “go red” as part of a Red Alert for Net Neutrality campaign to drive constituent calls and emails to lawmakers ahead of an imminent Senate vote to overrule the FCC’s overwhelmingly unpopular repeal of net neutrality. The online push will begin on May 9th when the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution will be officially discharged, and will carry through until the vote.

See the announcement here: https://www.battleforthenet.com/redalert

See a demo of the “Red Alert” widget here.

Many of the most popular websites on the Internet, including Reddit, Tinder, OK Cupid, Etsy, Tumblr, GitHub, Postmates, Imgur, Pornhub, Vimeo, Foursquare, Twilio, Private Internet Access, Mozilla, Imgur, Fark, BoingBoing, Match.com, and Gandi.net have said they plan to participate. Thousands of other large and small websites are expected to join. Companies and organizations will display prominent messages on their homepages or in their apps, while Internet users will be encouraged to flood social media with “red alert” messages, and change their avatars.

Behind the push are Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, and Free Press Action Fund, the groups that run BattleForTheNet.com and have been responsible for the largest online protests in history. They’ve helped drive millions of phone calls, emails, and tweets to lawmakers in recent years.

The CRA lets just 30 senators force a vote to overturn a recently-issued federal agency rule. On May 9th, senators will present a petition to force a vote on a resolution that would undo the FCC’s net neutrality rollback. If the resolution passes into law, it will restore the strong net neutrality protections that were put in place in 2015. All 49 members of the Democratic Caucus, as well as Republican Susan Collins, have announced their support for the effort – meaning that, at most, just one more vote is needed to ensure passage in the Senate, at which point Internet activists plan to take the fight to the House.

“This senate vote will be the most important moment for net neutrality since the FCC repeal. Now is the time to fight,” said Evan Greer, Deputy Director of Fight for the Future, “Every Internet user, every startup, every small business –– the Internet must come together to sound the alarm and save net neutrality.”

“We will finally force lawmakers to let us know if they stand with the 85% of Americans who support net neutrality – or with the cable companies that want to manipulate the internet in service of greater profits,” said David Segal, Executive Director of Demand Progress. “The people are on our side – and if they make their voices heard over coming weeks, we will push this resolution through the Senate and House.”

“Congress has the chance to rewind a terrible Trump administration policy decision, and one of its least popular, too,” said Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press Action Fund. “Net Neutrality is overwhelmingly supported by people across the political spectrum: Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike. The FCC’s disastrous vote late last year led to a historic outcry Congress must not ignore. There’s only one way to stand up for real Net Neutrality — and to stand on the right side of history — and that’s by voting for the resolution of disapproval to restore these essential safeguards. The public will be closely watching who’s looking out for them and who’s only serving phone and cable lobbyists.”

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PHOTOS: Thousands of small businesses call on Congress to pass CRA to restore net neutrality with billboards, newspaper ads, open letter deliveries

Posted 11:23 EDT on May 1, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 2, 2018
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

It’s national Small Business Week, and nearly 6,000 small businesses, ranging from construction companies to tech startups have signed on to an open letter to Congress calling on lawmakers to support the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to block the FCC’s repeal. Small business owners hosted delivery events at congressional offices across the country,

Net neutrality supporters also crowdfunded to put up billboards in key states like Colorado, Louisiana, and Ohio as well as full page newspaper ads in Alaska and Maine highlighting the concerns of the thousands of small business owners signing the open letter.

See NEW PHOTOS of the delivery events, billboards, and newspaper ads here, these are available for use by press: https://imgur.com/a/GdlRLKF

To date, nearly 6,000 businesses have signed the letter, including veterinary offices, graphic design shops, restaurants, medical startups, music venues, attorneys, tutoring services, chiropractors, engineering firms, and an amusement park machine supplier. Businesses are being listed publicly on the letter in a rolling fashion as they are verified.

The nationwide push is supported by a range of groups representing startups and small businesses including the American Sustainable Business Council, Etsy, Patreon, Engine Advocacy, Main Street Alliance, Good Business Colorado, and Small Business Majority, along with groups like Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Color of Change.

A staffer for Senator Susan Collins accepts the letter from business owners who came to thank her for supporting the CRA. 

Ryan Rabac of the American Sustainable Business Council said, “Recent data shows a majority of small businesses oppose the repeal of net neutrality. They fear a potentially devastating impact on innovation, fair competition, and access to customers. Instead, we must restore protections for millions of businesses and consumers. ASBC and its national network of businesses stand with these members of Congress working to protect all businesses by restoring net neutrality.”

“The loss of net neutrality will hurt all small businesses, not just high tech ones like those I work with,” said Chris Reade President and CEO of Lookfar in New Orleans, LA, “Without these basic protections, businesses that put food on the table for hard working Americans won’t be able to compete with big corporate giants.”

“My small business has been able to grow in part because of net neutrality. Strong rules have ensured people can find me and shop my online store,” said Mickki Langston, owner of Tellicherry Trading Company, maker of skincare products in Denver, CO. “Small businesses like mine will be hit the hardest if Internet service providers decide to charge us new fees to reach customers. Everyone in Washington says they support small businesses. I want them to show us that they support small businesses by supporting the CRA.”

“Our small Alaska-based technology business depends on affordable access to an open, neutral Internet to deliver training, software updates and data to customers around the state,“ said Julie Olsen, President of OfficeTECH, Inc. in Anchorage, AK. “We need lawmakers to just say “NO” to deep pocketed ISPs plans for fast lanes online and, instead, vote to protect Alaskan businesses and their employees by supporting the CRA resolution to overturn the FCC’s repeal and put strong net neutrality protections back in place.

“When senators vote on the resolution to restore net neutrality this month, they’ll face a stark choice. They can use their power to back the ability of monopolistic telecoms to block and slow traffic online for their own profit, in a manner that will strangle small businesses. Or they can stand with Main Street and the small companies that are the lifeblood of their communities.” said David Segal, Executive Director of Demand Progress. “Net neutrality is about free expression – but it’s also about people’s bottom lines, their jobs, and their abilities to provide for their families. Without an open internet that allows them to compete and to reach customers online, small businesses will fold. Any senator who votes against the net neutrality CRA resolution is voting against the small businesses in their communities.”

“Almost everyone who works at Fight for the Future has run a small business at one time in our lives, and we’ve connected with thousands of them through the massive online protests we’ve organized,” said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, “without net neutrality, the largest companies will become even more dominant, while family-owned businesses, innovative startups, small shops, and freelancers will be squeezed out. It’s a tax on the entire economy for the benefit of a few giant telecom companies.”

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