Grassroots groups and major websites like Tumblr, GitHub, Postmates, and Pornhub are helping drive traffic as part of the launch
THE INTERNET––Today, the net neutrality advocates behind BattleForTheNet.com launched an updated Congressional “scoreboard” showing where every member of Congress stands on the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to reverse the FCC’s repeal of basic open Internet protections. The updated tool also shows constituents how much money their representatives have taken in campaign contributions from telecom companies, the number of phone calls the office has received about net neutrality, and the number of small businesses in the district that have signed an open letterin support of the CRA.
The scoreboard is a project of BattleForTheNet.com, a net neutrality action site maintained by Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Free Press Action Fund. Today’s launch is being amplified by major web platforms like Tumblr, GitHub, Postmates, Private Internet Access VPN, Foursquare, Startpage, Namecheap, and Pornhub.
“Some elected officials are still under the woefully incorrect impression that they can hide from their constituents when it comes to net neutrality, or attempt to fool them by supporting symbolic legislation instead of the CRA,” said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, “Any lawmaker who sides with the big ISPs that line their pockets with campaign contributions over the basic Internet freedom of their constituents will learn the hard way. The math isn’t complicated: voters overwhelmingly support net neutrality. We’re going to make sure that every single voter knows if their representative sold them out. There’s nowhere to hide.”
The launch of the new scoreboard comes as pressure on House lawmakers to support the joint resolution to restore net neutrality has reached a boiling point. Last week Rep Mike Coffman (R-CO)became the first Republican member of the House to sign a discharge petition to force a vote on the CRA, putting victory increasingly within reach.
Net neutrality advocates are planning intensified activism starting today through August recess, with more in-district protests like the dozens that happened last week (see photos here), along with online and offline actions led by small businesses, US veterans, and others.
Nearly 70 volunteer-led protests and small business letter delivery events are planned at Congressional offices across the US
On Thursday, July 19th, net neutrality supporters and small business owners will gather outside dozens of congressional offices across the country, calling on lawmakers to sign the discharge petition and support the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overrule the FCC’s unpopular repeal of net neutrality. Constituents will rally with signs and banners, and then deliver an open letter signed by thousands of small businesses calling on Congress defend net neutrality.
The protests come amid growing outcry for Congress to act to reverse the FCC’s resoundingly unpopular repeal of net neutrality protections, which officially went into effect on June 11th. Rep Mike Coffman (R-CO) just became the first GOP member of the House of Representatives to support a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would reverse the FCC’s decision, creating massive pressure for other members of Congress to follow suit.
Net neutrality rules prevent Big Cable companies like Comcast and Verizon from controlling what we see and do on the Internet with throttling, censorship, and extra fees. These protections ensure free speech online, and are especially essential for small businesses, who can’t afford ISP’s pay-to-play schemes. More than 6,000 small businesses have signed an open letter at BusinessesForNetNeutrality.com, which will be delivered to Congressional staffers during the events on Thursday.
More than 20 organizations that use Salesforce, including Greenpeace, Fight for the Future, and Free Press, have signed an open letter
More than 20 organizations that are Salesforce customers, including Greenpeace, Fight for the Future, Free Press, IfNotNow, Jobs with Justice and OpenMedia, have signed on to an open letter released today calling on CEO Marc Benioff to drop the company’s contract with Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and cut all ties with the US government’s immigration enforcement agencies following widespread reports of human rights abuses.
“We are nonprofits, startups, and businesses that are Salesforce’s customers. The tools that Salesforce provides helps us achieve our mission. However, we are absolutely appalled that Salesforce is providing assistance to government agencies that are violating human rights. We cannot, in good conscience, ignore this issue,” reads the letter.
It continues, “If every company that has any kind of contract with these immigration agencies, immediately cut their contracts, it would make a huge impact and create enormous political pressure for these human rights abuses to end. Mr. Benioff, we know you really personally care about these issues and we implore you to listen to your conscience and show that you really care about immigrant families. As Salesforce customers, we urge you to cut your contract with Customs and Border Protection. We will not be quiet until you do.”
“Marc Benioff needs to realize that he can’t just write a check and tweet some excuses and expect this to go away,” said Jelani Drew of Fight for the Future, who helped coordinate the open letter, “Families are being torn apart. Human rights are being trampled. Salesforce has a contract with one of the agencies committing these atrocities. They have the power to do something about it. They need to decide right now which side of history they want to be on.”
The open letter comes after more than 100,000 people signed petitions calling on Salesforce, Microsoft, and other large tech companies to drop their contracts with ICE and Border Patrol, echoing demands from hundreds of employees at those companies. Protests have taken place at Salesforce HQ in San Francisco, and CEO Marc Benioff has been flooded with tweets calling on him to do the right thing.
Beyond tech companies, public pressure is growing nationwide for institutions to cut their ties with ICE and Border Patrol. Thousands of students spoke out and protested at Northeastern University, and one of the nation’s largest consulting and management firms, McKinsey and Company, already cut their ties, stating that they “will not, under any circumstances, engage in any work, anywhere in the world, that advances or assists policies that are at odds with our values.”
Fight for the Future and other groups plan to continue pushing for all large tech companies to sever their ties with government agencies that violate human rights.
Historic move could lead to a landslide of Republican support for resolution to overturn unpopular FCC repeal
Today, Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO) announced that he will become the first GOP member of the House of Representatives to sign a discharge petition in an attempt to force a vote on the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to reverse the FCC’s unpopular repeal of net neutrality. With polls showing that Republican voters overwhelmingly want their lawmakers to support the CRA, the move could unleash a landslide of GOP support for the resolution to restore strong protections while Congress debates any potential future legislation.
While the CRA only requires a simple majority to pass, Rep Coffman has also chosen to introduce his own net neutrality legislation, which could do more to undermine net neutrality than protect it. The bill is largely symbolic, given that it will never reach the 60 votes it would need to pass the Senate.
Fight for the Future plans to crowdfund billboards targeting any lawmaker who engages in hypocrisy by supporting symbolic net neutrality legislation without first signing on to the CRA.
The group issued the following statement, which can be attributed to deputy director, Evan Greer (pronouns: she/her):
“Rep Mike Coffman is a net neutrality champion for signing the discharge petition and supporting the CRA. His bill has zero chance of passing this year, but he’s shown real political courage by supporting the CRA to restore strong net neutrality protections while he and Congress debates alternative solutions.“
These open Internet protections should have never been taken away in the first place. Any other lawmaker who wants to support net neutrality must follow Rep Coffman’s lead by signing on to the CRA before supporting any other legislation. Any lawmaker who cosponsors Coffman’s bill without signing on to the discharge petition is doing the bidding of Comcast and Verizon and will be seen as an enemy of the free and open Internet.
The details are important when it comes to net neutrality. Internet users demand strong protections that prevent ISPs from censoring us, throttling our connections, or jacking up fees for no reason. Rep Coffman signing on to the CRA is a reminder that this is not a partisan issue outside of Washington, DC.
The rest of the House of Representatives should read the writing on the wall and take a stand for real net neutrality before they are forever remembered as the corrupt politicians who let the Internet die.”
Congress must pass CRA to reverse illegitimate decision to repeal Open Internet Order
After stonewalling, dodging FOIA requests, ignoring letters from victims of identity fraud, blocking law enforcement investigations, and dismissing concerns from lawmakers, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has finally admitted that his agency’s public comment system was utterly broken during its recent high profile net neutrality repeal proceeding.
“Ajit Pai’s response to concerns about widespread fraud and abuse during the net neutrality repeal process was always that it didn’t matter that the comment system was broken, since he was planning to ignore your comments anyway,” said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, “But the FCC is legally required to maintain a functional system for the public to have input into their proceedings. And now Ajit Pai has finally admitted that his agency failed to do that. Congress must do their jobs pass the CRA to reverse the FCC’s illegitimate decision, and ensure there is proper oversight in the future so that the public has a voice in proceedings that impact our most basic right and the future of the Internet.”
Fight for the Future was among the first to uncover the massive number of fraudulent comments in the FCC docket that used real people’s names and addresses without their permission. The group launched Comcastroturf.com, a tool to help Internet users check whether their identity had been used to file a fraudulent comment at the FCC, and organized a letter from dozens of people whose names and home addresses were used.
Fight for the Future and other net neutrality groups are planning to continue intense activism targeting House lawmakers over the summer, demanding that they listen to their constituents, sign the discharge petition and vote for the CRA to restore net neutrality protections for all.