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PoliticsWe’re some of the groups that drove millions of comments to the FCC and Congress last year and took on big telecom companies to win net neutrality. Now those protections are threatened and we have to fight for them again. AUA

Apr 12th 2017 by evanFFTF • 5 Questions • 276 Points

Hey reddit,

The FCC just held a closed door meeting with lobbyists from the Cable industry, and now the Wall Street Journal and others are reporting that the new chairman is moving fast to dismantle the Open Internet order / net neutrality protections that we won last year. If this happens, it would open the flood gates for a tiered internet with fast lanes and slow lanes, throttling, and censorship.

This news does not come as a surprise, but it’s coming faster than we thought. So now is the time to mobilize. Members of Congress are in their home districts this week and next, which makes this a particularly critical moment for us to make our voices heard.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Find a Congressional Town Hall Meeting near you and show up to ask a question or hold a sign in support of net neutrality.

2. Request a meeting with your member of Congress while they are in district over the next two weeks.

3. Sign this petition telling Congress that net neutrality is not a partisan issue.

We need to make sure that there is someone asking a question about net neutrality at every single Congressional town hall meeting taking place over the next two weeks. This is a task that redditors are perhaps uniquely positioned to accomplish. In addition to asking questions, we encourage redditors to use the comments section or create threads to organize meet-ups or support each other in attending events and speaking to members of Congress about why net neutrality is important to them. Search for town hall meetings near you here.

We represent just a handful of the massive coalition of organizations, startups, tech experts, and individuals that banded together to fight for the net neutrality protections that we have in place now. Some of us helped launch the Battle for the Net campaign, which was part of the effort that helped drive nearly 4 million comments to the FCC. Ask us anything!!!

Answering questions today are:

  • Ernesto Falcon (Electronic Frontier Foundation, proof)
  • Evan Greer (Fight for the Future, proof)
  • Ferras Vinh (Center for Democracy & Technology, proof)
  • Kate Forscey (Public Knowledge, proof)
  • Matt Wood (Free Press, proof)

Resources to learn more:

Q:

Net neutrality seems to be a fairly partisan issue (at least in Congress). How can supporters effectively communicate the need for net neutrality to Republicans and conservatives?

A:

This is a great question and super important right now. Lobbyists for companies like Comcast and AT&T have been working really hard to try to turn net neutrality into a partisan issue, even though voters from across the political spectrum overwhelmingly support it.

Here are some good resources for conservatives who care about net neutrality: * The Atlantic: "The Conservative Case for Net Neutrality" * The Verge: "Six Reasons Real Conservatives Should Defy Republicans and Support Net Neutrality" * Washington Examiner: "A Free Market Defense of Net Neutrality"


Q:

It would seem like we've already lost the race. True power is being exercised in an unabashed manner, despite the people's interest.

A:

We definitely haven't already lost! Keep in mind that the net neutrality protections we have now are ones that EVERYONE said were impossible to achieve. Everyone said it was impossible to stop SOPA too. The Internet makes impossible things possible. Let's keep it that way!


Q:

I live in south america and I feel like a second class citizen in this matters because any big descision made in the US will probably be replicated in my country. Is there anything foreigners can do help protect the internet?

A:

It's also important to remember that -- unfortunately -- US internet policy affects people all over the world. If we lose net neutrality protections and it has a chilling effect on online speech and innovation, we all lose out, regardless of where we live. People who are not in the US can still submit comments to the FCC, and I encourage everyone to help spread the word on social media as well.


Q:

One of the most frustrating things about the fight for net neutrality is that I've seen several activists use the fact that greed and money is the only reason these freedoms are being taken away from us.

While this is 100% true, the frustrating part is that using that argument only makes the wealthy opponents to net neutrality even more aggressive in their fight against it. This is because in their (very uninformed) minds, we're telling them that they'll lose money if we keep our freedoms in place. It's like we're handing that argument to them on a platter.

How can we strip the money/greed argument out of the conversation so we can talk to them on a level playing field? Or, do you know of a way to use their greed against them and offer ways that they'd actually profit from net neutrality?

A:

Net neutrality is hugely important for technological innovation. Almost every startup -- whether it's a new dogwalking business or an online store -- depends on it in some way. And the Internet is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. It benefits all of us, including wealthy individuals.


Q:

Our technologists at EFF wrote this piece explaining the cyber security implications of repealing the broadband privacy rules.

At its most basic level, essentially once Congress took the leash off the cable and telephone companies to collect and monetize more of our personal data, the more of that information gets stored and becomes a target.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/03/five-ways-cybersecurity-will-suffer-if-congress-repeals-fcc-privacy-rules

A:

This piece by Gigi Sohn, who formerly worked at the FCC, explains pretty well how killing net neutrality will also undermine online privacy: http://www.theverge.com/2017/4/11/15258230/net-neutrality-privacy-ajit-pai-fcc

And then EFF has this resource about how striking down the FCC's broadband privacy rules weakens everyone's cybersecurity: https://www.eff.org/files/2017/03/26/fcc_privacy_rule_cra_cybersecurity_memo.pdf