Fight for the Future


Net neutrality activists drive more than 15,000 phone calls to Congress during hearings: call for Title II reclassification, reject Thune-Upton proposal

Posted 14:05 EST on January 21, 2015

UPDATE Jan 22 11:00am: Final tally for phone calls to Congress in response to yesterday’s net neutrality hearings was more than 15,000. We averaged more than 1,500 calls per hour throughout the day.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2015

Media contact:
Evan Greer, 978-852-6457
press@fightforthefuture.org

Net neutrality activists drive thousands of phone calls to Congress during hearings: call for Title II reclassification, reject Thune-Upton proposal

WASHINGTON, DC – Today as of 11:00am EST, the grassroots activists behind BattleFortheNet.com have driven more than 15,000 phone calls to Congress, bombarding the Hill during House and Senate committee hearings to demand that Congress members allow the FCC to use their authority to enforce Title II net neutrality and reject the Thune-Upton Internet proposal. The page is currently still under heavy traffic, with thousands more phone calls expected in the coming hours.

BattleForTheNet.com has been a centerpiece of the net neutrality movement since it served as the landing page for the Sept 10th Internet Slowdown protest. Today, the homepage featured an embedded livestream of the House and Senate hearings, with a click-to-call tool targeting the members the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee and the Senate Commerce Committee. Over the course of the day net neutrality supporters sent an average of 1,500 phone calls per hour to the House and Senate.

“The Internet’s response today was swift and overwhelming,” said Fight for the Future’s Campaign Director Evan Greer “As soon as we put the word out about the hearings in Congress, we were instantly inundated with traffic from thousands of people calling their lawmakers to say that net neutrality is not a partisan issue, and Congress should stay out of the way of real net neutrality protections through full Title II reclassification.”

David Segal, executive director of Demand Progress, added, “The public understands that this legislative effort is a cynical sham, put forth by people and organizations that have repeatedly made it clear that they’re shills for the big ISPs.  It’s simple: if you support net neutrality, then you’ll oppose the Thune-Upton proposal, and will let the FCC do its job.  Committee members will hear from tens of thousands of Americans this week, who will drive that point home.”

Battle for the Net is supported by Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, Free Press, and dozens of other advocacy groups and tech companies who support strong net neutrality protections through Title II reclassification.


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Fight for the Future works to excite the Internet to fight for the public good, our basic rights and freedoms. Founded in 2011, the NGO is known for effective, viral organizing and mass engagement through the distributed organizing platforms we’ve built, including the SOPA protests in the winter of 2011-2012 and the Internet Defense League. For more information, visit www.fightforthefuture.org or our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Urgent! Congress is moving to kill net neutrality right now

Posted 12:08 EST on January 21, 2015

We’ll keep this brief. Comcast is in attack mode, right now. We need you to fight back.

Team Cable’s allies in Congress are advancing two bills that would overrule the FCC and kill our dream for real net neutrality [1]. Hearings are happening TODAY, at this very moment.

Click here to call the committee members, right now and tell them to stop standing in the way of real net neutrality. We need *everyone* to do this.

This was Comcast’s big play all along: if they lose the FCC, get Congress to do the dirty work. Now it’s happening. There are two fake net neutrality bills in motion that wouldn’t stop cable companies from discriminating against certain sites, but would block the FCC from enforcing real rules.

Hearings run all day. The House hearings start at 10am, and the Senate at 2pm.

How awesome would it be if while they’re at these bogus hearings, they get panicked texts from staff about the HUGE number of pro-net neutrality calls? That’s what we’re shooting for. Can you call now?

Also, since there’s really a lot of calls to make, we’re trying something special. if you call all 10 targets, the 11th call goes to my personal cell phone, where I’ll thank you personally.

Will you do it? If so, talk to you soon! :)

Sincerely,
Holmes Wilson (and the entire team)
Fight for the Future

P.S. If you’re interested, we’re live streaming the hearings at battleforthenet.com all day. Watch them, and dig in on Twitter.

Sources:

[1] http://www.freepress.net/press-release/106761/trouble-fake-net-neutrality-bills

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PRESS RELEASE: Internet freedom activists unfurl banner at Senator Ron Wyden town all event: "Don’t Betray the Internet! No Fast Track for the TPP!"

Posted 17:40 EST on January 17, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2015

Media contact: Evan Greer
Phone: 978-852-6457

Email: press@fightforthefuture.org

Internet freedom activists unfurl banner in front of Senator Ron Wyden at town hall event: “Don’t Betray the Internet! No Fast Track for the TPP!”

Grants Pass, OR– Today, activists working in coordination with digital rights group Fight for the Future briefly disrupted a town hall meeting hosted by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden when they unfurled a banner behind the Senator reading, “Senator Wyden: Don’t Betray the Internet! No Fast Track for the TPP!”

Click here to see photos of the action: http://imgur.com/a/FOMuS

The activists are joining tens of thousands of voices who have called upon Senator Wyden to oppose outdated and undemocratic “Fast Track” legislation, also known as “Trade Promotion Authority,” as well as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive, secretive trade deal that has been condemned by advocacy organizations from across the political spectrum.

“Senator Wyden has long been considered a champion of Internet freedom, which is why it’s unthinkable that he’s pushing for outdated Fast Track legislation, which could have dire consequences for the future of the free and open web,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future. “Senator Wyden now has a choice: he can be remembered as the hero who stuck to his principles and defended the Internet, or as the traitor who allowed DC politics and corporate interests to poison the web with censorship.”

While activists on the ground in Oregon brought their message directly to Senator Wyden, thousands more took action online, tweeting, calling, and emailing the Senator to ask him to oppose Fast Track legislation and stand up for the free and open Internet.

Previously, Fight for the Future, Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, and other groups sent Senator Wyden thousands of floppy discs as part of a campaign calling for him to oppose Fast Track legislation. The Senator also received an open letter signed by more than 25 tech companies, asking him to oppose such legislation.

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PRESS RELEASE: Reddit, Activism Orgs To Drive Thousands of Phone Calls To Congress for Net Neutrality

Posted 16:08 EST on January 14, 2015

A Ringing Endorsement for For Net Neutrality: Reddit, Activism Orgs To Drive Thousands of Phone Calls To Congress

Effort marks one-year anniversary of court decision undermining Net Neutrality rules

Washington D.C. (January 14, 2015) – Members of Congress should expect to hear from tens of thousands of constituents in the coming days as Internet users rise up once again in support of strong Net Neutrality rules. The calls are being organized by Demand Progress, Fight For The Future, Free Press Action Fund, and reddit. The effort is hosted at BattleForTheNet.com, a hub site for Net Neutrality activists, and marks the anniversary of a court decision striking down net neutrality rules that were promulgated under an inappropriate authority.

The FCC is expected to issue a new Net Neutrality rule on February 26th. Constituent input to Congress is critical, as Congress may or may not attempt to overturn the FCC’s rule.

By visiting BattleForTheNet.com and entering just their phone number and zip code, users will receive an automated call connecting them to both their senators and their representative.

Reddit, which receives more than 170 million unique visitors each month, will use space on its front page to promote the effort.

Calls will be placed to Congress all day long, but those who call Congress after 3pm Eastern will then be connected to reddit co-founder and executive chair Alexis Ohanian. Mr. Ohanian will be broadcast live on reddit so that users can watch as he frenetically thanks as many Internet users as possible for standing up for Net Neutrality.

“The Internet is driving the new digital economy, but legacy corporations would like to stifle that innovation. Steve Huffman & I were very fortunate in starting reddit, so I’m honored to spend a day thanking the Internet users who are fighting to save Net Neutrality for the next generation of tech entrepreneurs,” said Alexis Ohanian.

“Too often in Washington, well-heeled lobbyists get their way simply because the rules are too arcane for the average person to follow. That simply isn’t the case with the Internet. The future of the Internet is too important to sell off to the highest bidder,” said David Segal, executive director of Demand Progress.

“Brace yourself, Congress. The Internet is coming,” said Evan Greer, campaign director at Fight For The Future.

“It’s time for members of Congress to either get on the right side of the Net Neutrality issue or get out of the way,” said Free Press Action Fund President and CEO Craig Aaron. “Millions of Americans have spoken out, and the FCC is poised to give us the real Net Neutrality rules we need. Congress has already put in place the bipartisan legal framework that would make this a reality. The FCC now just needs to act by reclassifying Internet access under Title II.”

Net Neutrality is the fundamental principle of the Internet that treats all web traffic equally. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must treat the small amount of traffic necessary to check an email the same as traffic necessary to stream video. If Net Neutrality didn’t exist, ISPs would be free to change the speed at which you can access certain content to extract profit, or block it all together.

Verizon sued the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), arguing that the FCC’s 2010 rules were promulgated under an faulty authority. A court agreed exactly one year ago today.

While corporations like Verizon and Comcast see extra profits to be had by selling priority access to their consumers, Internet users have demanded that the FCC simply reclassify broadband Internet and keep similar rules to those that have always governed the Internet. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will announce his plans on February 5th.

Millions of people have called or written the FCC demanding the agency reclassify broadband Internet access under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. A previous effort organized by The Battle for The Net coalition generated more than 300,000 phone calls, 800,000 FCC comments and 2,000,000 emails to Congress in a single day in support of Net Neutrality.

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An Internet-sized can of whoop-ass

Posted 13:43 EST on January 14, 2015

So today we did something a little absurd. We launched 535 websites. One for each member of Congress.

Why? The battle over net neutrality in the U.S. is coming to a final showdown, and the outcome will affect every Internet user in the world. One year ago today, Verizon’s lawyers got our net neutrality protections struck down in court. [1]

Since then, we’ve unleashed an Internet-sized can of whoop-ass on the FCC, the White House, fence-sitting tech giants, Team Cable lobbyists, and anyone else standing in the way of keeping the Internet open and unfettered by corporate and government interference.

Click here to tell Congress to stand with the Internet or get out of the way!

The online free speech movement has gained so much ground that Comcast and Verizon are now begging the FCC to implement the rules that just a year ago today they sued to strike down. [2]

We’re winning. We we’re winning so hard. There’s literally only one thing that can stop us now: partisan nonsense in Congress.

I know what you’re thinking: partisan nonsense in Congress can ruin ANYTHING. You’re right. That’s why we’re pulling out the stops on this one. We made every member of Congress their very own website showing where they stand on net neutrality. Are they with the public or in bed with corporate monopolies that want to regulate the Internet?

Click here to find out if your member of Congress is helping kill net neutrality. Then share.

Congress knows that the public is overwhelmingly in support of net neutrality. We need to let them know that there will be political consequences for any politician who betrays the open Internet. These sites are just the first part of the plan, but they’re exactly the kind of attention politicians don’t like. It’s like if we put up giant billboards with their faces on them, except it only costs a couple bucks per site :-)

Congress has been scared of the Internet ever since SOPA. Let’s keep it that way.

Yours for the web,
-Evan, Tiffiniy, Holmes, Jeff, Kevin, and Vasjen

Fight for the Future

P.S. The FCC decision is coming up at the end of next month and we need to bring on more people so we can kick our campaigns up a notch. Please chip in $10 to help if you can!

Sources:

[1]: Jon Brodkin. “Net neutrality is half-dead: Court strikes down FCC’s anti-blocking rules”. Ars Technica. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/01/net-neutrality-is-half-dead-court-strikes-down-fccs-anti-blocking-rules/

[2] Kate Cox. “ISPs to FCC: No, Seriously, We Will Sue If You Use Title II Like The White House Just Asked”. The Consumerist. http://consumerist.com/2014/11/10/isps-to-fcc-no-seriously-we-will-sue-if-you-use-title-ii-like-the-white-house-just-asked/

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