Fight for the Future


Internet users and world’s largest websites unite for “Internet Slowdown” today to save net neutrality

Posted 12:38 EDT on September 10, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

‘Internet Slowdown’ launches across the web

Businesses and public interest groups hold online action to show support for net neutrality. Companies and websites  cover the web with “loading” icons and call for FCC to protect the open Internet

WASHINGTON – Today, tech companies, main street businesses and organizations are demonstrating their support for stronger net neutrality protections by adding a spinning icon to their websites, representing a slow-loading Internet. The symbolic icon links to a series of actions to members of Congress, the White House and the FCC. The event builds on the millions of Americans who have told the government to protect innovation and fairness on the Internet from corporate interference.

“The Internet is united against the FCC’s Net Neutrality-killing proposal,” said Craig Aaron, president and CEO of the Free Press Action Fund. “Today we’ll see the Internet slow down as millions of people rise up against this threat to our rights to connect and communicate. There aren’t many issues that could bring together such a diverse array of groups, big platforms and small businesses, senators and everyday citizens, all of them urging the leaders at the FCC to restore real Net Neutrality.”

Internet users had already placed 40,000 phone calls this morning through  https://www.battleforthenet.com/

(But this represents just a fraction of the total activism, as many major sites have created their own activism tools.)

Screenshots of some of the participating websites can be found here: https://imgur.com/a/KHnr7

Sites are encouraged to continue to join the protests throughout the day – tools are available at: www.battleforthenet.com/sept10th.

“It’s encouraging to see so many prominent companies participating in the day of action in support of an open Internet,” said Evan Engstrom, Policy Director at Engine. “The FCC needs to know that preserving strong net neutrality rules is necessary to ensure that the Internet remains a platform for innovation and economic growth, and that reclassifying broadband as a Title II service is the only way to achieve this goal.”

Evan Greer, Campaign Director of Fight for the Future, added. “Today, we are showing once again not only the power of the Internet to defend itself from threats to free speech but the urgency of protecting net neutrality. Today’s protest was organized by a small number of people working very hard with limited resources. Without a neutral net that gives everyone a voice, we would never have gotten this off the ground. The future of every social movement, startup, independent artist, and innovative idea depends on the outcome of this battle for the net.”

The “Internet Slowdown” is being organized by Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press Action Fund and Engine Advocacy. The Battle for the Net website with updates and actions is www.battleforthenet.com/sept10th.

Groups aim to leave the Internet open so that the next Google and the next Facebook can succeed. They believe that America was built on the fundamental values of freedom of expression where every idea has a fair shot at being heard and big companies like Comcast and Verizon should not be allowed to create Internet fast lanes for rich companies and slow lanes for the rest of the country.

Political momentum has increased recently, including letters to the FCC supporting the light-touch “Title II” approach to achieving net neutrality from Senator Angus King and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and a statement from Representative Matsui, in addition to previous support from more than a dozen Senators and more than 40 Representatives.

Some of the companies and websites that are participating in the action include Automattic (which runs WordPress.com), AVG, Bluehost Boing Boing, Cheezburger, Chess.com, Comptel, CREDO Mobile, DailyDot Digg, Dropbox, Dwolla, Etsy, Fark, Foursquare, Gandi, General Assembly, Gfycat, Grooveshark, iFixit, Kickstarter, Meetup, Mozilla, Namecheap, The Nation, Netflix, reddit, SendGrid, Tagged, Thunderclap, Tumblr, Twilio, Twitter, Upworthy, Urban Dictionary, Vimeo , and Wikia.

Additionally, Google participated by sending a pro-net neutrality email to its activism list of on order of two million people.

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.

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Contact: Evan Greer, FFTF
Email: press@fightforthefuture.org
Phone: 978-852-6457 or 617-690-9547

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It’s not enough for this protest to be huge. It has to be massive. Here’s what you can do to help.

Posted 20:50 EDT on September 8, 2014

image

Hey,

No time to write. There are 30 hours left until the Internet Slowdown protest for net neutrality, and all of us here at FFTF are working round the clock to make this huge.

Everything you need is right here: https://battleforthenet.com/sept10th

Just this morning, Netflix announced that they’re joining the slowdown and will be showing a prominent message sitewide on September 10th. That’s huge.  We’re going to reach millions and millions of people who have never heard the words “net neutrality” before. So many of you have already joined and have been helping spread the word, and we can’t thank you enough.

Here’s the thing. It’s not enough for this protest to be huge. It has to be massive.

Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and Time Warner are spending more than $1 million per week lobbying to make sure that the FCC protects their interests even though the public’s voice couldn’t be clearer. It’s possible to drown out the influence of those lobbying dollars – we’ve proven that before –  but only if everyone starts scrambling right now to get even more people and sites on board.

Will you forward this email to everyone you know right now? Another way to help is to text everyone in your address book this link: https://battleforthenet.com/sept10th

We need to get the slowdown trending and viral on social media starting TONIGHT. Use these links to share on social media. Retweet this awesome gif or make your own and tweet to #InternetSlowdown.

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Click here to share on Facebook

Click here to share on Twitter

Click here to share on Tumblr

Click here to share on Google+

The battle for the net is raging and we’re gaining ground every day, but the outcome is still very much uncertain. What each of us does right now will matter for generations to come.

Yours for the future of the free web,
-Evan, Tiffiniy, Holmes, Kevin, Vasjen, Jeff, and Jessica at Fight for the Future


P.S. Just a reminder that EVERYONE can participate in the protest on September 10th. If you have a website, go here to get the code. If not, click here, and change your profile picture. It’s easy!

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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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