Joe Manchin (D-WV), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT) are among the first Democrats to be listed as “Team Cable” on BattleForTheNet.com congressional score board
The four Democratic Senators who ignored overwhelming public support for net neutrality protections and voted to reconfirm former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai as chairman of the FCC are among the first from their parties to be listed as part of “Team Cable” on a prominent “Congressional Scorecard” on net neutrality campaign site BattleForTheNet.com, run by Demand Progress, Free Press Action Fund, and Fight for the Future..
Fight for the Future also announced that they will target these lawmakers in their districts with crowdfundedbillboards informing constituents of their Senator’s controversial vote. The group has previously targeted 9 members of Congress who have publicly supported Ajit Pai’s plan to slash Title II protections, but these four represent the first Democrats to be targeted as part of the crowdfunded campaign.
See a mockup of what the billboards will look like here.
“Every member of Congress needs to understand that you can’t vote against the free and open Internet and get away with it,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, “let this be a lesson to any lawmaker considering going against the interests of their constituents to support legislation or FCC action that undermines existing net neutrality rules.”
“The only interests Ajit Pai represents are those of the few gatekeeper media companies that want to charge people more for nothing and give them less of everything,” said Candace Clement, Free Press Action Fund Campaign Director. “Those in Congress who voted to confirm Ajit Pai did so against the demands and interests of their constituents. Pai stands against an open internet, online privacy, local control of local media and affordable access for everyone. Team Internet will continue to remind Congress that you can’t do harm to the people you represent without hearing from us every day and everywhere. You can’t sell out our rights in Washington without consequences.”
“By voting to confirm Ajit Pai, these senators fundamentally failed Americans who rely on, or are in need of an open and affordable internet,” said Mark Stanley, Director of Operations for Demand Progress. “A vote for Pai was a vote to end net neutrality protections. It was a vote for less affordable broadband service for those who need it most. And it was a vote for greater media consolidation, which will lead to higher costs and worse service for consumers. Pai’s vision for our country’s communications networks is overwhelmingly unpopular among the public. Constituents are watching intently, and going forward it is incumbent on lawmakers from both parties to unequivocally oppose Pai and his policies that place the interests of Big Cable over those of ordinary Americans.”
Demand Progress, Free Press Action Fund, and Fight for the Future were the leading groups behind the massive July 12 net neutrality day of action, which drove a record breaking number of comments, calls, and emails, to the FCC and Congress.
Dozens of Internet users from across the country are traveling to the Capitol to meet directly with Congress about Internet freedom
WASHINGTON, DC – More than 60 Internet users traveling from as far away as Alaska, California, Kansas, and Utah are participating in a unique advocacy effort this Wednesday, September 27 descending on the U.S. capitol not for a rally but to meet directly with their Senators and Representatives in support of Title II net neutrality protections.
The participants, recruited through an online campaignspread through email and social media include small business owners, students, IT professionals, startup founders, single parents, and people from a wide range of political perspectives and representing more than 20 states. Fight for the Future launched a crowdfunding page where net neutrality supporters who couldn’t attend the meetings in DC could chip in to help cover travel costs for others who need assistance.
“The companies trying to kill net neutrality are spending millions on lobbyists who are hitting the Hill constantly to spread fear and misinformation,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, “Internet users, entrepreneurs, and small business owners have such critically important stories to tell about how Title II net neutrality protections directly impact their basic rights and their ability to put food on the table. Tomorrow, we’re harnessing the power of the Internet to make sure that those stories are heard over the noise of the telecom lobby.”
“A free and open internet is the lifeblood of small business in America, and Net Neutrality as protected in Title II, is what guarantees that the internet remains free and open,” said Sean Frame, who runs a video production company in California and is traveling to DC to participate in the meetings, “My business, and the businesses of my clients cannot survive if we are placed in the internet slow-lane while larger competitors buy faster access.”
Lesley Perg, who is traveling from Minnesota, said, “I am a PhD climate scientist on the American Care Act, an avid backpacker in our National Parks, and I tutor mainly immigrants and people of color in Adult Basic Education and Citizenship. A free and open internet is imperative for a functioning democracy, and if we give away our infrastructure now, I believe it will be difficult to impossible to overturn in the future. Net Neutrality underlies all the causes that are important to me - that’s how I picked my battle.”
“As a small business owner net neutrality is very important to me to make sure I can compete against large corporations,” added Alison Stanton, who is traveling from Illinois, “ I’m scared I wouldn’t be able to reach potential customers if we lose net neutrality because it would be too expensive to communicate with them.”
In addition to Fight for the Future, organizations supporting the Day of Advocacy include Public Knowledge, Center for Media Justice, Common Cause, EFF, Consumers union, Free Press, and Writers Guild of America West.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, August 31, 2017 Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, firstname.lastname@example.org
Businesses from across the US tell lawmakers how losing net neutrality would threaten their ability to reach customers and grow their businesses online
August 31, 2017 – Late yesterday, a group of over 500 small businesses and trade associations from across the country signed an open letter raising concerns over the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) plan to repeal net neutrality. The letter, filed with the FCC by the American Sustainable Business Council, warns that “weakening or rolling back the 2015 protections would be disastrous for the country’s business community” who for decades have relied on open access to the open Internet to do business.
The signatories–ranging from dentist offices to sporting goods stores–highlight how the FCC’s proposed changes would put smaller business at a disadvantage with larger companies. Without strong protections Internet service providers (ISPs) would be permitted to block websites, slow traffic, or charge new access fees. The businesses warn policymakers that, “While big companies might be able to afford a pay-to-play prioritized ‘fast lane’ to users, small and medium sized enterprises like ours cannot.”
“These businesses represent their founders’ dreams for a better life and a better world—and they’re how many families put food on the table and pay their bills each month,” said Fight for the Future co-founder Holmes Wilson, “The FCC’s plan to end net neutrality puts businesses like these—and the livelihoods of the millions of people that depend on them—in grave danger.”
The letter was filed on the final day of the FCC’s controversial net neutrality consultation, which sparked millions of comments, emails, and phone calls in support of Title II following the July 12th day of action. Earlier this week digital rights group Fight for the Future released a second wave of billboards targeting members of Congress who support the FCC’s repeal, building on an initial round of six billboards from earlier this month. The ads are currently running in nine different states while lawmakers are back in their home districts.
Fight for the Future is best known for their role in the massive online protests against SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, and continues to organize many of the largest protests in the history of the Internet. They recently organized the high profile Rock Against the TPP tour, as well as historic July 12th Internet-wide day of action to save net neutrality. Learn more at FightFortheFuture.org
While FCC’s refusal to address cybersecurity issues and fake comments creates intentional confusion around data, unique comments are overwhelmingly in favor of Title II net neutrality— by more than 73 to 1
Today, the telecom industry is touting a study funded by cable lobby group Broadband for America regarding the millions of comments submitted to the FCC’s public docket surrounding the agency’s plan to gut Title II net neutrality rules that prevent companies like AT&T and Verizon from charging extra fees, throttling apps and services, and censoring online content.
The most telling statistic in the report is that the unique comments in the docket – the ones that people took the extra time to write themselves – are overwhelmingly in favor of Title II net neutrality protections, by more than 73 to 1.
So the telecom industry’s own study essentially shows what nearly all other polling on this issue has shown: that they are getting trounced when it comes to public opinion, and people from across the political spectrum overwhelmingly agree that they don’t want their ISPs to have control over what they can see and do on the Internet.
The report also highlights that the data in the FCC docket is a mess. Fight for the Future has been working with a group of tech volunteers to analyze this data as well, and will be releasing our findings soon.
Much of the reporting on this study draws a false equivalence between real comments from real people gathered through grassroots activism campaigns with massive public participation – and completely fraudulent comments that use names and addresses from breached databases, or completely fake information.
Sadly, this confusion appears to be by design. Under Ajit Pai’s leadership, the FCC has repeatedly refused to address serious cybersecurity and transparency issues surrounding their public comment process, from the now debunked claims of DDoS attacks to the confirmed fraudulent comments that the agency won’t remove from its docket.
The agency is sabotaging the legitimacy of its own proceeding in a cynical attempt to spread confusion about something that is actually as clear as day: the majority of the voices calling for the end of net neutrality protections are those bought and paid for by the industry that stands to gain unprecedented control of our online experience if they succeed in rigging the game and gutting these consumer protections at the FCC or through bad legislation billed as a “compromise.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, August 29, 2017 Contact: Evan Greer, email@example.com, 978-852-6457
New billboards in three states single out members of Congress who support the FCC’s plan to gut rules stopping ISPs from charging new fees, slowing traffic, or blocking websites
Today digital rights organization Fight for the Future unveiled 3 more crowdfunded billboards targeting Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Bob Latta, and Greg Walden, members of Congress who have publicly supported the FCC’s efforts to gut net neutrality protections that keep the web free from censorship, throttling, and extra fees. The three new billboards are the latest in an ongoing campaign focused on lawmakers who oppose Internet freedom. Earlier this month the group launched an initialround of net neutralitybillboards targeting six different lawmakers in states across the country.
The move comes just hours before the FCC’sfinal deadline for public inputon their controversial plan to repeal net neutrality. With lawmakers still in their home districts, the billboards -paid forby hundreds of small donations - appear in three different states.
Since the massive July 12th day of action, millions have contacted their representatives – who have oversight over the FCC – to ensure these key protections are not changed or removed. The billboards send a strong message to any Members of Congress contemplating support for the FCC’s plan to repeal net neutrality, which is currently being tracked through a “congressional scorecard” on BattleForTheNet.com. So far very few lawmakers have been willing to publicly support Ajit Pai’s plan, likely in light of polling that shows voters – including Republicans – overwhelmingly oppose it.
The billboards encourage constituents to contact their elected representatives; for example, Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Rep. Greg Walden’s (R-OR) billboard in Medford, Oregon asks, “Want slower, more expensive Internet? Rep. Walden supports CenturyLink’s plan to destroy net neutrality. Ask him why: (541) 776-4646.”
The outdoor ads feature some of the few members of Congress who came out with early support for FCC’s plan to repeal net neutrality rules, including:
Spokane, WA – Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (N. Monroe Street at W. Broadway Ave)
Findlay, OH – Rep. Bob Latta (corner of E Main Cross St and East St.)
Medford, OR – Rep. Greg Walden (N. Pacific Hwy at Elm Ave)
“It doesn’t matter which party you’re in, or how charming you are on TV – if you attack net neutrality and Internet freedom we will make sure everyone knows that you’re corrupt to the core” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future (pronouns: she/hers), “every member of Congress should take note: supporting the FCC’s plan to allow censorship, throttling, and price gouging may get you a few extra campaign donations from big telecom companies, but it will infuriate your constituents, and will come with a serious political cost.”
The billboards highlight the increasing scrutiny on Congress - who have important oversight authority over the FCC. With no viable legislation on the table, net neutrality supporters remain opposed to any attempt at legislation that would undermine the strong rules at the FCC, which were fought for by millions of Americans, and are calling on lawmakers to publicly oppose Ajit Pai’s plan, and require the FCC to act with transparency and address serious irregularities in its rulemaking process.
Fight for the Future was also one of the leading organizations behind the historic Internet-Wide Day of Action for Net Neutrality on July 12,which drove a record breaking 2 million+ comments to the FCC and Congress in a single day. Learn more at fightforthefuture.org