FCC move toward Title II net neutrality rules is a huge win for grassroots activists and Internet users
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler officially announced his move toward strong Title II net neutrality protections for both mobile and broadband. Tiffiniy Cheng, co-founder of Fight for the Future, the digital rights group that has led the grassroots on this issue and created BattleForTheNet.com and the Internet Slowdown protest, issued the following statement:
We’ll be ramping up the pressure to make sure the details are right, but the significance of the FCC moving to use Title II rules to protect net neutrality is undeniable – it is an awe-inspiring, unprecedented victory for the public and the Internet freedom movement against DC’s fiercest lobbies.
Every Internet activist who has signed a petition, made a call, or showed up at a protest deserves to celebrate. It’s crucial that we keep the pressure on both the FCC and Congress to make sure they get the details right, but no matter what happens from here, we’ve already accomplished more than any pundit, lobbyist, or Cable CEO thought was possible.
We’re celebrating, but we will remain vigilant. Based on media reports, it sounds like the FCC may be trying one last time to leave a loophole open for Cable companies to charge interconnection fees. By now the FCC should know better – the public is paying extremely close attention, and won’t be fooled by anything less than the real thing.”
Fight for the Future, a digital rights group best known for their role in the massive protests against SOPA, has been at the center of the net neutrality fight since last year, and were instrumental in rallying widespread support to get Title II onto the table at the FCC, pressuring the White House to publicly support it, and then bombarding Congress with phone calls and emails to keep them from derailing the process. Their latest campaign is the Internet Countdown, launched last week, which has already attracted thousands of Internet users and websites using innovative "countdown" tools to broadcast messages every day until the FCC’s vote on February 26th. There are several high profile announcements related to the Countdown coming later this week.
Here are some highlights from net neutrality campaigns spearheaded by Fight for the Future:
-We worked with PopularResistance.org to organize the Occupy the FCC encampment, where activists camped outside the FCC for 10 days leading up to the initial release of the proposed rules. This was widely credited with making "Title II" a household name and getting it onto the table at the FCC.
-With our partners Demand Progress and Free Press we launched BattleForTheNet.com, which has become a central clearinghouse for net neutrality action and information, has been shared hundreds of thousands of times, and has attracted a wide coalition of Title II supporting #TeamInternet organizations and tech companies including Tumblr, Kickstarter, Mozilla, reddit, Etsy, and Imgur.
-More than 40,000 websites joined us to support Title II during the September 10th Internet Slowdown protest. In a single day we drove more than 770,000 comments to the FCC and hundreds of thousands of phone calls and emails to Congress.
-When the FCC leaked a so-called Hybrid proposal, we organized nationwide Emergency Protests, including one on the White House lawn, quickly sending the FCC back to the drawing board (eventually to write a full Title II rule.)
-We delivered more than 75,000 signatures to the White House and ran a series of public facing campaigns demanding that President Obama break his silence on net neutrality and speak out in favor of Title II reclassification. We were instrumental in pressuring the White House on this issue, and they used many of our messages and framing in their video announcement.
-We threw an epic dance Party at the FCC to celebrate after President Obama finally caved to intense public pressure and came out in support of Title II.
-When members of Congress who take large sums in campaign contributions from Cable companies proposed legislation that would derail the FCC’s move toward Title II, we launched 535 websites, one for each member of Congress, and quickly drove thousands of phone calls and emails against the bills and in support of Title II.
-We are currently organizing the Internet Countdown, a sustained effort to keep the pressure on the FCC and Congress as the Internet literally counts down the seconds until the vote for real net neutrality.
Fight for the Future leadership are available for interviews or to discuss background information related to the net neutrality debate. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org