Congress must pass the CRA to reverse illegitimate repeal
Gizmodo has obtained internal emails that prove once and for all that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) intentionally misled journalists about a alleged DDoS attack that prevented net neutrality supporters from submitting comments immediately following viral segments of the issue by comedian John Oliver.
Fight for the Future has played a leading role debunking the FCC’s dubious claims about these attacks, and shining a light on the rampant issues of fraud and abuse that have plagued Ajit Pai’s agency’s net neutrality repeal process. The group released the following statement, which can be attributed to deputy director, Evan Greer (pronouns: she/her):
“This is a smoking gun. The FCC lied to reporters, and to Congress, in order to obscure the fact that they utterly failed to maintain a legitimate public comment process, as they are legally required to do, in their net neutrality repeal proceeding.
Overseeing the FCC is Congress’ job. They need to do their job and pass the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to reverse the agency’s illegitimate and unpopular decision. Voters from across the political spectrum overwhelmingly oppose the gutting of net neutrality. No one wants their cable company controlling what they can see and do on the Internet.
Inaction is unacceptable. Any member of Congress who remains silent and fails to sign the discharge petition should prepare to face the Internet’s wrath come election time.”
Fight for the Future and other groups are planning mass online actions to coincide with the official date that the FCC repeal goes into effect.
SACRAMENTO –– The California State Senate just voted 23-12 to pass SB 822, the strongest and most comprehensive state level net neutrality legislation in the country. The bill passed despite fierce lobbying from big ISPs like AT&T and Comcast, who laid siege to Sacramento with an army of contract lobbyists and flooded the Capitol with misinformation in an all out attempt to kill the bill.
Fight for the Future, a leading digital rights group with more than 350,000 members in California, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to Deputy Director Evan Greer (pronouns: she/her):
“Internet users are furious about the FCC’s disastrous repeal of net neutrality, and they’re mobilizing en masse to get it back by any means necessary. Today the California State Senate read the writing on the wall, sided with the public, and voted to defy Ajit Pai and enact strong protections against ISP censorship and abuse.
Giant telecom companies like AT&T and Comcast hired up dozens of lobbyists in Sacramento and shamelessly spread provably false claims in an attempt to stop SB 822. They failed.
This victory in California shows that net neutrality is here to stay. It’s time for our Federal lawmakers in the House of Representatives to follow the lead of the US Senate and California State Senate, listen to their constituents, tech experts, and small business owners, and vote for the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to restore open Internet protections for all.”
SB 822 passed in large part due to mass mobilization by California residents in support of net neutrality. The bill heads next to the State Assembly, where it will likely get a vote early this Fall.
-More than 53,000 California residents sent letters to the Senate Energy committee calling on them to advance SB 822
-Nearly 200 small businesses in California have signed on to open letters here and here.
-Dozens of public interest groups like Fight for the Future, Color of Change, Greenpeace, Consumers Union, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, CREDO, and Daily Kos signed on to a letter calling on Committee Chair Ben Hueso to advance SB 822.
-Former FCC Commissioners Tom Wheeler, Michael Copps, and Gloria Tristani sent a letter to Senator Hueso in support of SB 822.
-The mayors of San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Oakland, and Emeryville sent a letter in support of the bill.
-A group of 60 startups and high tech companies also signed a letter supporting SB 822.
Bipartisan letter shows increasing concern from GOP about the FCC’s repeal of open Internet rules
Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), whose identities were stolen and used to submit fraudulent comments to the FCC during its issue-plagued net neutrality repeal proceeding, just senta bipartisan letter to the chairman Ajit Pai, calling for a thorough investigation into the millions of fake messages that flooded the agency’s docket last year.
Fight for the Future, a digital rights group that was among the first to uncoverthe massive case of identity fraud, strongly supports this bipartisan request. Previously, the group organized a letterfrom dozens of people whose names and home addresses were used, without their knowledge or permission, to submit anti-net neutrality comments to the FCC.
“People are losing faith in their democracy. The FCC’s repeal of net neutrality is set to go into effect in a matter of weeks, despite the fact that the process around it has been riddled with serious issues of fraud and abuse that the agency has thus far refused to address,” said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future (pronouns: she/her). “These Senators are asking exactly the right questions. Providing oversight for the FCC is Congress’ job. Every member of the House should sign the discharge petition for the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to block the repeal right now, to ensure that these essential protections for Internet users and small businesses remain in place while a thorough investigation into these fraudulent comments can take place.”
The bipartisan letter highlights increasing scrutiny from Republicans lawmakers, who have been under tremendous pressure to denounce the FCC’s repeal, which was opposedby the overwhelming majority of GOP and Independent voters. Last week in a historic upset, three GOP Senators voted in support of a Senate CRA resolution to block the FCC’s repeal. A handful of House Reps have previously criticized the agency’s decision. Net neutrality supporters plan to wage a fierce battle to force a vote in the House in the coming months.
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
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 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.