Net neutrality supporters plan Internet-wide push on February 27 to secure final vote needed for Senate resolution to overturn FCC repeal
Tumblr, GitHub, Patreon, and DuckDuckGo are among the latest web platforms to announce their participation in an Internet-wide day of action on February 27 dubbed Operation: #OneMoreVote, an internet-wide push called for by the organizations behind BattleForTheNet.com and many of the largest online protests in history.Internet users, small businesses, online communities, public interest groups and popular websites will harness their reach to flood lawmakers with calls, emails and tweets, and constituent meetings in search of the final vote needed to pass a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would block the FCC’s unpopular repeal of net neutrality protections.
Protest planning, led by Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Free Press Action Fund, has just begun, but already well known companies like Etsy, Medium, Vimeo, Imgur, Namecheap and Sonos have announcedtheir participation, along with groups like Consumer Reports, the ACLU, Common Cause, Engine, and Daily Kos. Many other participants will be announced in the coming days.
50 Senators have already come out in support of the CRA, which would overturn the FCC’s December 14 decision and restore net neutrality protections that prevent Internet providers from controlling the web with throttling, censorship, and new fees. The February 27 push is laser focused on securing the final vote needed to pass the resolution in the Senate. Advocates will also take the fight to the House of Representatives, where net neutrality supporters plan to wage an all-out war to reach the 218 supporters (a simple majority) needed to force the CRA to the floor.
“The Internet is on a mission to save net neutrality, and every member of the Senate needs to decide if they are with us or against us,” said Evan Greer, Campaign Director of Fight for the Future (pronouns: she/hers), “The FCC’s decision to let ISPs throttle websites and shake us down with new scams and extra fees was the most unpopular move in the agency’s history. The CRA gives our elected officials a clear way to reverse that decision, making it a simple up or down vote on the future of the open Internet. On February 27, we’ll make sure they know their constituents expect them to do their jobs and vote on the right side of history.”
“The FCC vote to gut net neutrality protections was a historically bad decision — one that will negatively impact millions of Americans who rely on the internet for work, news, entertainment, and so much more. The massive unpopularity of the FCC’s move is reflected in an intense and continuing public backlash, including polling showing a vast majority of Americans from both parties oppose the repeal. One is hard pressed to think of a more unpopular policy coming out of Washington in recent years,” said Demand Progress Director of Communications Mark Stanley. “No one in America except for the detested Big Telecom lobby is clamoring to see net neutrality rules repealed. For lawmakers, backing the CRA resolution to restore net neutrality presents the rare opportunity to be celebrated by voters from both parties, with no political downside apart from bucking Comcast and Verizon.”
“The FCC was wrong to repeal Net Neutrality protections. Everybody knows that, which is why we’ve seen incredible momentum behind the national movement to restore internet rights to internet users,” said Free Press Action Fund Campaign Director Candace Clement. “Millions of people have spoken out because they recognize how important the open internet is for racial justice, free expression, innovation and economic opportunity. Lawmakers are already following the public’s lead, signing up by the hundreds to overturn the FCC’s unpopular and unwise action. On February 27 more people will have their say, giving every member of Congress the chance to stand with their constituents and reject this awful decision.”
Before the CRA can officially start moving, the FCC must now enter the rules into the Federal Register, which will start a countdown of 60 legislative days for the Senate to act. If the CRA passes both houses, it will go to the President’s desk. The White House, which has criticized mergers and other actions by large telecom companies, has been noticeably quiet about the FCC repeal, which was unpopular with voters from across the political spectrum including3 out of 4 Republicans. While a veto is possible, the reality is that no one can predict what Trump will do.
Over the last year net neutrality has emerged as a mainstream political issue, with millions of people contacting their lawmakers, broad participation from small businesses, major web companies, and even brands like Burger King, and hundreds of volunteer-led grassroots protests, in-district meetings, and petition deliveries to Congressional offices. Previous days of action on July 12and December 12 drove unprecedented numbers of phone calls, emails, and comments to lawmakers and the FCC.
This morning AT&T is touting full page ads in multiple papers claiming (as they have in the past) that they support net neutrality and calling on Congress to pass legislation. This is a cynical attempt at misinformation and zero real net neutrality supporters are fooled by this.
AT&T’s announcement also comes off as a bit of a joke at this moment, given that their lobbyists are shocked by the momentum of the Congressional Review Act resolutions to outright block the FCC’s repeal. The measure only needs one more vote to pass the Senate and has already attracted more than 110 co-sponsors in the House.
Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future (pronouns: she/her), issued the following statement about the ads:
“We had an Internet bill of rights. It was called Title II and AT&T’s army of lobbyists did everything in their power to burn it down.
It would be a lot easier to take AT&T at their word if they hadn’t spent more than $16 million last year alone lobbying to kill net neutrality and privacy protections for Internet users. Internet activists have been warning for months that the big ISPs plan has always been to gut the rules at the FCC and then use the ‘crisis’ they created to ram through bad legislation in the name of 'saving’ net neutrality.
That’s the tale they’re attempting to spin with this latest announcement, but it comes off as a bit pathetic at this moment, to be honest. The FCC’s repeal of net neutrality sparked such a massive backlash from across the political spectrum that lawmakers in Congress have read the writing on the wall and know that the only viable legislation on the table is the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolutions to cleanly reverse the FCC’s deeply unpopular decision, which are gaining momentum in the House, and more notably the Senate where we are one vote away from a major victory for the open Internet.
If AT&T wants Internet users to have rights, they should stop lobbying against them.”
Donald Trump just signed S. 139, a bill that re-authorizes the U.S. government’s mass surveillance authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The controversial bill fails to fix major loopholes that allow for the unconstitutional domestic spying of Americans’ online communications. Now, the NSA will be able to continue collecting and storing massive amounts of information about innocent people without warrants or basic privacy protections for 6 more years. S. 139 also writes into law a controversial pathway to reinstate “abouts” collection, which is currently, in effect, illegal.
Trump signed Congress’ bill despite studiesand security expertswho say over-collection of data runs counter to investigatory best practices and makes us less safe.
Following Trump’s signing of the bill, Laila Abdelaziz (pronouns: she/her), a campaigner with Fight for the Future, issued the following statement:
“Our democracy is broken. And now that Trump has signed a bill expanding Orwellian domestic spying powers, the most powerful and corrupt officials will have the tools to ensure that our democracy remains broken, and target those who try to fix it.
For 6 more years, millions of Internet users will have to use the web in fear, knowing that the NSA is storing their Internet communications in massive databases for law enforcement agencies like the FBI to peruse, without needing probable cause or a court-ordered warrant to do so.
A government that spies on its own citizens will certainly abuse this power and use it against independent thinkers, disenfranchised communities, political opponents, and dissidents. But a government that spies on its own citizens is also a government that shows that it is afraid of its own citizens.
This government should be afraid. Millions from across the political spectrum are outraged, and becoming more active and aware every day. In the end, freedom will prevail.”
Fight for the Future has launched an accountability campaignto notify constituents how their lawmakers voted on fundamental issues like privacy ahead of the 2018 primary and general elections. Voters can take the pledge by texting FREEDOM to 384-387.
The U.S. Senate voted 65-34 to pass S. 139, a bill that re-authorizes the U.S. government’s mass surveillance authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, without fixing major loopholes that allow for the unconstitutional domestic spying of Americans. The bill enables agencies like the NSA to continue collecting and storing massive amounts of information about innocent people without warrants or basic privacy protections for 6 more years. S. 139 also writes into law a controversial pathway to reinstate “abouts” collection, which is currently, in effect, illegal.
Lawmakers voted to reauthorize sweeping surveillance programs despite studiesand securityexpertswho say over-collection of data runs counter to investigatory best practices and makes us less safe.
Fight for the Future plans to unleash an accountability campaign to notify constituents that take the pledge how their lawmakers voted on issues like privacy ahead of the 2018 primary and general elections. Voters can take the pledge by texting FREEDOM to 384-387.
Ahead of the vote, Laila Abdelaziz (pronouns: she/her), a campaigner with Fight for the Future, issued the following statement:
“U.S. Congress just voted to trample on liberty and advance totalitarianism. The FISA reauthorization bill that just passed turns the Internet into a powerful surveillance weapon that can be used by the government against its own citizens.
This surveillance reauthorization bill completely fails to address privacy reforms Congress promised they’d tackle, like ending the government’s warrantless domestic spying powers. Instead, the bill writes into law broad surveillance authorities that the government has repeatedly abused in the past.
The right to privacy is a cornerstone of free and open societies. We’ve launched a campaign to make sure constituents know how their lawmakers voted on this fundamental issue ahead of election day. If U.S. lawmakers violate their oath to defend the constitution, they don’t belong in office.
Once the FISA reauthorization bill goes to President Trump, he should veto it. No federal agency should have the power to unconstitutionally spy on Americans.”
The bill now goes to President Donald Trump who can veto it and demand from Congress that they instead pass a FISA reauthorization bill with sound constitutional privacy protections.
All Senate Democrats and Susan Collins (R-ME) line up to defend the free and open Internet. Only one more vote needed for CRA to pass Senate and take fight to the House, where there are already more than 80 cosponsors
Stunning lobbyists, net neutrality supporters are now one vote away from winning a Senate vote on a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the FCC’s unpopular repeal of net neutrality. All 49 Senate Democrats are now co-sponsoring the move, and Susan Collins (R-ME) has saidshe plans to support it. With victory in the Senate increasingly likely, Internet activists are setting their sights on the House, where they plan to wage a fierce battle to hit the simple majority needed to force a CRA vote to the floor. Today Rep Mike Doyle (PA-14) unveiled the names of 82 original cosponsors of his CRA resolution in the House. Including Doyle, the list totals 83 and includes House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, increasing the chances that House Democrats will line up behind the move. A simple majority is needed to force a vote to the floor in the House.
“The Internet is on a mission to save net neutrality, and lawmakers that stand in our way will regret it,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future. “Net neutrality is going to be an election issue in 2018 and every member of Congress knows it. The CRA is steamrolling through the Senate and into the House because lawmakers are reading the writing on the wall that it’s the only viable legislation on the table. Cleanly reversing the FCC’s unpopular and illegitimate decision is, on substance, the correct policy move, and the only one that has support from voters.”
Earlier this month, Fight for the Future announced a no holds barred campaign at VoteForNetNeutrality.comcalling on Internet users to pledge to vote against lawmakers who don’t support the CRA resolution to overturn the FCC decision and restore net neutrality protections. The fiercely nonpartisan group is hellbent on restoring net neutrality protections, and willing to target lawmakers of either party if they are not listening to constituents on this critical issue.
Millions of people have taken action in recent months, bombarding Congress with a flood of phone calls, emails, faxes, tweets, protests, letters from small businesses, and constituent meetings.