Momentum Builds for Sept. 10’s Symbolic "Internet Slowdown"
Growing list of major tech companies – including Kickstarter, Meetup, Netflix, reddit, Upworthy, Vimeo, and WordPress – websites, and organizations to take part in day of action for strong Net Neutrality
WASHINGTON – Momentum for a day of action to protect the open Internet is growing as prominent tech companies and organizations have announced that they will join the Sept. 10 Web protest. The event builds on the millions of Americans who have told the government to protect innovation and fairness on the Internet from corporate interference.
According to Erik Martin, General Manager of reddit, "The cause of Net Neutrality is important to us as a business, it’s important to our visitors, and it’s important for our democracy. So we are proud to take part in the "Internet Slowdown" and encourage others to join with us."
Paul Sieminski, General Counsel of Automattic/WordPress said, "The free and open Internet has been central to the economy and to global free expression. Everyone has to step up now and do everything they can to protect it. We’re proud to do our part and to participate in the day of action alongside so many industry leaders and citizens."
Dozens of companies and organizations – and thousands of websites – will post a spinning icon on their websites, representing a slow-loading Internet. The symbolic icon, which doesn’t actually slow down the site, will link to a series of actions at www.battleforthenet.com/sept10th.
Some of the companies and websites that are participating in the action include Automattic (runs WordPress.com), Boing Boing, Cheezburger, Chess.com, CREDO Mobile, Digg, Dwolla, Etsy, Fark, Foursquare, Gandi, General Assembly, iFixit, imgur, Kickstarter, Meetup, Mozilla, Namecheap, The Nation, Netflix, reddit, SendGrid, Thunderclap, Twilio, Upworthy, Urban Dictionary, and Vimeo.
Participating organizations include, among others: American Civil Liberties Union, Common Cause, the Center for Media Justice, ColorOfChange, DailyKos, Demand Progress, Democracy for America, Democrats.com, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Engine Advocacy, Fight for the Future, the Free Press Action Fund, the Future of Music Coalition, Greenpeace USA, the Harry Potter Alliance, the Media Alliance, the Media Mobilizing Project, MoveOn, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, OpenMedia, Popular Resistance, Presente.org, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Progressives United, the Other 98%, RootsAction, Rootstrikers, the Sierra Club, SumOfUs, Voqal, Women, Action & the Media, the Writers Guild of America, East, and the Writers Guild of America, West.
Participants can take action by urging the Federal Communications Commission and members of Congress to support real Net Neutrality protections. The companies and organizations oppose an FCC proposal that would let Internet companies like Comcast and AT&T discriminate and stifle innovation by favoring content from well-funded companies while slowing access to other websites
The "Slowdown” is being organized by Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, Free Press Action Fund and Engine Advocacy.
“The media has widely reported that more than 99% of the comments the FCC has received support net neutrality. The public’s opinion could not be more clear – we don’t want discrimination on the Internet, period," said Evan Greer of Fight for the Future. "If the FCC chooses to move ahead with its current proposal in the face of this overwhelming outcry, it will be more clear than ever that this government agency has lost all legitimacy, and works for only the interest of the 1% CEOs of cable companies, and not the public good.”
According to Demand Progress executive director David Segal, "The cable companies have millions of dollars, but our side will prevail because we have millions of people. More Americans have already spoken out in support of Net Neutrality than around any other cause that has ever been before the FCC, and our growing coalition will continue to fight for an Open Internet until it has been secured."
“The FCC has succeeded at one thing: uniting an unprecedented coalition of public-interest groups, innovative companies and millions of everyday Internet users against its slow-lane scheme,” said Craig Aaron, president and CEO of the Free Press Action Fund. “We need our leaders to stand up to the cabal of cable and phone giants that have called the shots in Washington for too long. September 10 is the day to stand with Internet users everywhere and demand real Net Neutrality.”
“With more and more companies joining in the September 10 day of action, the startup community is letting the FCC know how important net neutrality is to the future of the Internet and the economy," said Evan Engstrom, policy director for Engine Advocacy. " If the FCC fails to preserve the net neutrality rules that have been the norm in this country for most of the Internet’s existence, the continued viability of the US’s robust technology sector will be in jeopardy. The FCC must reclassify broadband as a Title II service if it wants an Internet without slow lanes and fast lanes.”
According to Becky Bond, Vice President of CREDO Mobile, “CREDO stands with the companies and citizens who oppose the FCC’s plan to allow big telecom to slow down the internet. As a mobile phone company and long time advocate for civil liberties, we say no to the corporate interests who want to profit from discrimination on the internet.”