Fight for the Future


Momentum builds for Sept 10th "Internet Slowdown" as Netflix and other major sites announce support

Posted 12:40 EDT on September 8, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Evan Greer, Fight for the Future
Email:
press@fightforthefuture.org
Phone:
978-852-6457 or 617-690-9547

Momentum Builds for Sept. 10’s Symbolic “Internet Slowdown”

Growing list of major tech companies – including Kickstarter, Meetup, Netflix, reddit, Upworthy, Vimeo, and WordPress – websites, and organizations to take part in day of action for strong Net Neutrality

WASHINGTON – Momentum for a day of action to protect the open Internet is growing as prominent tech companies and organizations have announced that they will join the Sept. 10 Web protest. The event builds on the millions of Americans who have told the government to protect innovation and fairness on the Internet from corporate interference.

According to Erik Martin, General Manager of reddit, “The cause of Net Neutrality is important to us as a business, it’s important to our visitors, and it’s important for our democracy.  So we are proud to take part in the “Internet Slowdown” and encourage others to join with us.”

Paul Sieminski, General Counsel of Automattic/WordPress said, “The free and open Internet has been central to the economy and to global free expression. Everyone has to step up now and do everything they can to protect it. We’re proud to do our part and to participate in the day of action alongside so many industry leaders and citizens.”

Dozens of companies and organizations – and thousands of websites – will post a spinning icon on their websites, representing a slow-loading Internet. The symbolic icon, which doesn’t actually slow down the site, will link to a series of actions at www.battleforthenet.com/sept10th.

Some of the companies and websites that are participating in the action include Automattic (runs WordPress.com), Boing Boing, Cheezburger, Chess.com, CREDO Mobile, Digg, Dwolla, Etsy, Fark, Foursquare, Gandi, General Assembly, iFixit, imgur, Kickstarter, Meetup, Mozilla, Namecheap, The Nation, Netflix, reddit, SendGrid, Thunderclap, Twilio, Upworthy, Urban Dictionary, and Vimeo.

Participating organizations include, among others: American Civil Liberties Union, Common Cause, the Center for Media Justice, ColorOfChange, DailyKos, Demand Progress, Democracy for America, Democrats.com, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Engine Advocacy, Fight for the Future, the Free Press Action Fund, the Future of Music Coalition, Greenpeace USA, the Harry Potter Alliance, the Media Alliance, the Media Mobilizing Project, MoveOn, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, OpenMedia, Popular Resistance, Presente.org, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Progressives United, the Other 98%, RootsAction, Rootstrikers, the Sierra Club, SumOfUs, Voqal, Women, Action & the Media, the Writers Guild of America, East, and the Writers Guild of America, West.

Participants can take action by urging the Federal Communications Commission and members of Congress to support real Net Neutrality protections. The companies and organizations oppose an FCC proposal that would let Internet companies like Comcast and AT&T discriminate and stifle innovation by favoring content from well-funded companies while slowing access to other websites

The "Slowdown” is being organized by Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, Free Press Action Fund and Engine Advocacy.

“The media has widely reported that more than 99% of the comments the FCC has received support net neutrality. The public’s opinion could not be more clear – we don’t want discrimination on the Internet, period,” said Evan Greer of Fight for the Future. "If the FCC chooses to move ahead with its current proposal in the face of this overwhelming outcry, it will be more clear than ever that this government agency has lost all legitimacy, and works for only the interest of the 1% CEOs of cable companies, and not the public good.”

According to Demand Progress executive director David Segal, “The cable companies have millions of dollars, but our side will prevail because we have millions of people.  More Americans have already spoken out in support of Net Neutrality than around any other cause that has ever been before the FCC, and our growing coalition will continue to fight for an Open Internet until it has been secured.”

“The FCC has succeeded at one thing: uniting an unprecedented coalition of public-interest groups, innovative companies and millions of everyday Internet users against its slow-lane scheme,” said Craig Aaron, president and CEO of the Free Press Action Fund. “We need our leaders to stand up to the cabal of cable and phone giants that have called the shots in Washington for too long. September 10 is the day to stand with Internet users everywhere and demand real Net Neutrality.”

“With more and more companies joining in the September 10 day of action, the startup community is letting the FCC know how important net neutrality is to the future of the Internet and the economy,” said Evan Engstrom, policy director for Engine Advocacy. “ If the FCC fails to preserve the net neutrality rules that have been the norm in this country for most of the Internet’s existence, the continued viability of the US’s robust technology sector will be in jeopardy. The FCC must reclassify broadband as a Title II service if it wants an Internet without slow lanes and fast lanes.”

According to Becky Bond, Vice President of CREDO Mobile, “CREDO stands with the companies and citizens who oppose the FCC’s plan to allow big telecom to slow down the internet. As a mobile phone company and long time advocate for civil liberties, we say no to the corporate interests who want to profit from discrimination on the internet.”

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The Internet Slowdown is coming, and it’s going to be huge.

Posted 17:39 EDT on September 4, 2014

Hey there,

Exciting news! The Internet Slowdown net neutrality protest planned for September 10th is really taking off. This morning, a dozen of the world’s largest websites announced that they’re joining in a big way. Sites you know and love like Etsy, Kickstarter, Wordpress, Vimeo, Mozilla, Namecheap, Foursquare, imgur, and reddit.

Will you join too?

Everyone has a role in the Internet Slowdown. Click here to find out what YOU can do.

Oh, but that’s not all that happened this morning. Just a few hours ago I got a phone call from a number in Washington, DC. The person on the other end tried to ask some questions without identifying themselves, but when I asked outright they told me they were from NCTA – yep, as in the National Cable Television Association, aka Comcast’s lobbying army.

 They wanted to know when we would be announcing the names of the companies participating in the September 10th net neutrality protest. I suggested they take a look at the front page of The Guardian, or at this op-ed by the CEO of Etsy in Wired, and mentioned they may want to check out this TIME Magazine article. Then I hung up.

After the call, I couldn’t stop smiling. I’ve been organizing for many years and one thing I’ve learned is that powerful enemies only start contacting you when they’re scared. If they don’t think you’re being effective, they ignore you.

Friends, we are giving some of the most powerful interests in the world a run for their money. And they have tons of money. We’ve got Comcast & company shaken up and scared. This is our chance to to drive the message home and win this once and for all.

All the tools you need for the battle are here: https://battleforthenet.com/sept10th

If you’ve got a website, blog, or Tumblr run the “slowdown” widget on your site to symbolically show your users a “loading” message and help people understand what the Web could be like without net neutrality. If you don’t have a site, change your profile pic to the “loading” symbol, so that the entire Internet is alive with protest on September 10th, and forward this email to everyone you know to spread the word.

The truth is, unlike Comcast and their cronies, we have nothing to hide. A report from the Sunlight Foundation yesterday showed that 99% of comments the FCC has received are in support of net neutrality. The public agrees, and hell hath no fury like the Internet scorned. As I write this email, I’m feeling more hopeful about our chances of victory in the battle for net neutrality than I have since we started this fight.

Last chance. We need you for the Internet Slowdown on September 10th. Are you in?

We can win this, and when we do, it’s a victory we can put in the history books.

For the Internet,
-Evan Greer at Fight for the Future

P.S. Our friends at Namecheap are really throwing down in the fight for net neutrality. Check out the awesome video they just put up at NetNeutrality.com (nice URL right?), wait til you get to the part where people are riding on toilets chasing wall street bankers up a bike ramp.

P.P.S. There’s still time to get your very own #TeamInternet t-shirt or hoodie. Go here and reserve yours before they’re gone! http://teespring.com/stores/team-internet

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Top web companies join Internet Slowdown protest for net neutrality

Posted 08:41 EDT on September 4, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 4, 2014

Media Contact: Evan Greer
Email:
press@fightforthefuture.org   
Phone: 978-852-6457

Top web companies join Internet Slowdown protest for net neutrality

Some of the world’s largest Internet companies – including Etsy, Kickstarter, Mozilla, reddit, imgur, Foursquare, Vimeo, and Namecheap, Wordpress – announced today that they will join Internet users and Battle for the Net activists for a creative action on September 10th.

Today, a chorus of major Internet companies answered activists’ call for a symbolic “Internet Slowdown” protest on September 10th to encourage the FCC to change its current course and take necessary steps to protect net neutrality through Title II reclassification.

Several top websites – including Etsy, Kickstarter, Foursquare, Wordpress, Vimeo, reddit, Mozilla, Imgur, Meetup, Cheezburger, Namecheap, Bittorrent, Gandi.net, StartPage, BoingBoing, and Dwolla — announced that they will be joining more than 35 advocacy organizations and hundreds of thousands of activists in a day of action that will give a glimpse into what the Internet might look like if the FCC’s proposed rules go into effect.  The protest comes just 5 days before the FCC’s next comment deadline on September 15th.

An explanation of the protest, and previews of the Internet Slowdown widgets can be found here: https://battleforthenet.com/sept10th

Sites participating in the slowdown will display prominent messages that include an infinitely-spinning “site loading” icon – or the so-called “spinning wheel of death” – to symbolize what surfing the web could be like without net neutrality. These alerts will direct the sites’ users to call and/or email policymakers in support of net neutrality.  

The names of some of the most well-known companies participating were revealed this morning in a blog post from Engine Advocacy, found here.

More companies and other partners will be named in the days leading up to the September 10th protest.

For more background, see this press release from more than 20 advocacy organizations who are supporting the Internet Slowdown.

Many companies and organizations will directing users to Battleforthenet.com, a site maintained by advocacy groups Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Free Press, who initiated the Internet Slowdown effort.

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More background:

The FCC’s proposal would be a huge boon for the cable companies, and would undermine the Internet as we know it. Under the proposed rules, cable giants like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon would be able to create a two-tiered Internet, with slow lanes (for most of us) and fast lanes (for wealthy corporations that are willing pay fees in exchange for fast service).

Cable companies would have the power to discriminate against online content and applications — they could pick winners and losers, shake sites down for fees, block content for political reasons, and make it easier for Internet users to view content the cable companies own.

But the FCC left open the possibility of issuing a stronger rule by reclassifying Internet service as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act and requiring Internet service providers to deliver all content at equal speeds.

The FCC is expected to issue a final rule as soon as the end of the year.

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September 10th Internet Slowdown organizing materials!

Posted 13:30 EDT on September 3, 2014

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September 10th is the day we take our fight for net neutrality to the next level.

In this post are a bunch of resources for companies, organizations, people, and cats to use to promote the #InternetSlowdown. If you’ve told us you’re joining the slowdown, great! Now tell the world on social media and in a blog post, or through whatever other channels you can use to reach your audience.

Most importantly, send people to this link to get the code and join in on September 10th: https://battleforthenet.com/sept10th

If you need anything else from us, or you create images you want to share with others and have listed here, let us know: team@fightforthefuture.org

SAMPLE TWEETS:

(Copy and paste these tweets to spread the word)

Sept 10th is the #InternetSlowdown. Show the world what’ll happen if we lose #netneutrality. http://battleforthenet.com/sept10th

If you don’t want your favorite websites to look like this, join the & RT!

The battle for the net is on. Next phase starts Sept 10. Join the . Get code

GRAPHICS FOR FACEBOOK, TUMBLR, & TWITTER:

Please link back to https://battleforthenet.com/sept10th

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SAMPLE TEXT FOR EMAIL OR BLOG POST:

Copy and paste the text below.

The e-mail is a call to action and instructions for how they can participate and join you on September 10th to save the open Internet.

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If you woke up tomorrow, and your internet looked like this, what would you do?

Imagine all your favorite websites taking forever to load, while you get annoying notifications from your ISP suggesting you switch to one of their approved “Fast Lane” sites.

Think about what we would lose: all the weird, alternative, interesting, and enlightening stuff that makes the Internet so much cooler than mainstream Cable TV. What if the only news sites you could reliably connect to were the ones that had deals with companies like Comcast and Verizon?

On September 10th, just a few days before the FCC’s comment deadline, public interest organizations are issuing an open, international call for websites and internet users to unite for an “Internet Slowdown” to show the world what the web would be like if Team Cable gets their way and trashes net neutrality. Net neutrality is hard to explain, so our hope is that this action will help SHOW the world what’s really at stake if we lose the open Internet.

If you’ve got a website, blog or tumblr, get the code to join the #InternetSlowdown here: https://battleforthenet.com/sept10th

Everyone else, here’s a quick list of things you can do to help spread the word about the slowdown: http://tumblr.fightforthefuture.org/post/96020972118/be-a-part-of-the-great-internet-slowdown  


Get creative! Don’t let us tell you what to do. See you on the net September 10th!

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Title II advocates call for symbolic ‘Internet Slowdown’ to show what Web would be like without Net Neutrality.

Posted 13:12 EDT on September 3, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 3, 2014

Media Contact:
Evan Greer, Fight for the Future,
Phone: 978-852-6457
Email:
press@fightforthefuture.org

Advocates call for symbolic ‘Internet Slowdown’ to show what Web would be like without Net Neutrality.

Battle for the Net groups representing more than 10 million people organize mass mobilization on Sept. 10 through creative online action before FCC deadline

On Wednesday, a diverse range of public interest groups representing more than 10 million people announced a day of mass online mobilization on Sept. 10 in support of Net Neutrality. On that day, numerous websites, social networks, online activism organizations and others will call on their members to contact Washington and demand real Net Neutrality protections.  (Sites will employ icons that symbolize a slower Internet, but will not actually load more slowly.)

More information can be found at https://www.battleforthenet.com/sept10th/

There are many major tech companies and web platforms participating in the September 10th Internet Slowdown action. Those names, however, are currently confidential and will be released later this week.

Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission proposed rules that would permit Internet service providers to extract tolls from websites, discriminate against online content, and undermine Net Neutrality. With a Sept. 15 deadline for public comments about this proposal rapidly approaching, the organizations will urge their members to submit comments to the FCC in opposition to the proposal and in support of rules that would protect Net Neutrality. They will also encourage members to email and call their elected officials to urge them to demand the FCC implement real Net Neutrality rules.

To date, more than 4 million people have expressed opposition to the FCC’s proposal, including via the submission of far more than a million formal comments. Additionally, the organizations are urging website owners — from the smallest blogs to the largest online platforms — to participate in the activism.  They can do so by displaying “widgets” available at https://www.battleforthenet.com/sept10th/ that will make it easy for those sites’ visitors to submit comments to the FCC. The widgets will symbolize slower content delivery by displaying the revolving icon – commonly used to symbolize slowly loading content – to demonstrate one way that the loss of Net Neutrality would harm websites and other online service.  (The sites will not actually load more slowly.)

Those calling for the day of activism include:  The American Civil Liberties Union, Common Cause, Center for Media Justice, Color of Change, DailyKos, Demand Progress, Democracy for America, Democrats.com, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Engine Advocacy, Fight for the Future, FireDogLake, Free Press Action Fund, Future of Music Coalition, Greenpeace USA, Harry Potter Alliance, Media Alliance, MoveOn, National Hispanic Media Coalition, OpenMedia, Popular Resistance, Presente, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Progressives United, the Other 98%, RootsAction, Rootstrikers, SumOfUs, Voqal, Women, Action & the Media,

Tiffiniy Cheng, co-founder of Fight for the Future, said, “Remember when there was only one major railroad company, and just a few banks? That’s what Comcast’s proposal will lead to –  a few dominant web companies shoved down our throats. Comcast’s proposal would relegate all the weird, alternative, creative, personal, interesting, and independent content that makes the web so much cooler than Cable TV to a nether world most of us won’t see. The FCC seems to think they can hide in their bunker in Washington, DC, but they’ve both underestimated the fervor of the Internet scorned. Since Comcast and the FCC continue to work on slipping paid prioritization through, we’re going to show the world what they’re really calling for. The Internet will fight to the death before it lets any government or corporation trample online free expression.”

David Segal, Executive Director of Demand Progress said, “The ISPs have invested tens of millions of dollars in their effort to undermine Net Neutrality, but we still have a chance of defeating them – because the overwhelming majority of Americans stand with the Open Internet.  September 10th represents a chance for us to make that fact impossible to ignore.”

“Millions have made it clear that reclassifying ISPs as common carriers is the only way to ensure that the Internet remains a level playing field for all,” said Michael Scurato, policy director of the National Hispanic Media Coalition. “For Latinos and other communities who have suffered discrimination at the hands of traditional media, this is crucial. Allowing Internet Service Providers to discriminate would come at a high cost, as history has shown that if diverse and dissenting voices can be blocked, they will be.”

“Millions already have spoken out against the FCC’s slow-lane scheme, but FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler seems to think if he hides out in Washington the public will lose interest,” said Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press. “But the public outcry is only growing louder — and next week’s Internet slowdown will show millions more people what a world without real Net Neutrality would look like. If you claim to support the free and open Internet, you must pick a side in this battle. And being on Team Internet means you support reclassifying broadband under Title II of the Communications Act. There’s still a spot for Tom Wheeler on Team Internet, but only if he heeds the public and changes course now.”

According to Evan Engstrom, Policy Director for Engine Advocacy, “Despite what cable companies want you to believe, net neutrality has been the norm in this country for most of the Internet’s existence, and it is one of the key reasons we have a strong startup sector driving the nation’s economy. The FCC’s proposed plan would radically alter how the Internet functions, slowing down all but the most well-heeled incumbent companies and pricing the next wave of innovative startups out of the market. If the FCC has any interest in ensuring that the Internet remains a viable platform for economic growth, it must reclassify broadband as a Title II service.”

More background:

The FCC’s proposal would be a huge boon for the cable companies, and would undermine the Internet as we know it. Under the proposed rules, cable giants like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon would be able to create a two-tiered Internet, with slow lanes (for most of us) and fast lanes (for wealthy corporations that are willing pay fees in exchange for fast service).

Cable companies would have the power to discriminate against online content and applications — they could pick winners and losers, shake sites down for fees, block content for political reasons, and make it easier for Internet users to view content the cable companies own.

But the FCC left open the possibility of issuing a stronger rule by reclassifying Internet service as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act and requiring Internet service providers to deliver all content at equal speeds.

The FCC is expected to issue a final rule as soon as the end of the year.

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