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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The internet-wide day of action to save net neutrality

Net neutrality is a broad principle dictating that all websites and apps on the internet be treated equally. It commands that internet service providers like Comcast and AT&T abide by three core guidelines: no blocking certain websites, no artificially slowing down certain sites, and no soliciting payments from certain sites in exchange for faster speeds and superior quality.

AT&T, for instance, cannot keep a live-TV service like Sling TV at a lower resolution while making its own DirecTV Now service look better. Nor can it require third-party companies to pay for preferential treatment and in turn make it difficult for smaller companies with less funding to compete.

The internet-wide day of action to save net neutrality  ( Wednesday 12 July)

companies including Facebook, Google, Amazon, Vimeo, Spotify, Reddit and Pornhuband more than 70,000 websites, online services and internet users are participating, according to protest organizers. Many websites are displaying pro-net neutrality messages, or "blocked" or "buffering" notify their users that net neutrality is under attack. The Trump administration is trying to overturn Obama-era regulation that protected net neutrality, and there is less than a week left for people to object.
Just as the internet came together in a blackout to protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) in 2012, many websites will on Wednesday feature a prominent message on their homepage
"Everyone benefits from the current rules that maintain a free market and level playing field for all websites and services online," Lewis said. "The only people that benefit from eliminating the current net neutrality rules are the big cable and broadband companies who want to favor their own content over their competitors' content and reap billions of dollars in new profits."
On a more serious note, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, a trade group that represents many large tech firms including Amazon, Google, and Netflix, issued a statement highlighting the importance of net neutrality for the economy, especially to ensure that the next generation of startups has access to an open online platform for innovation.

While other people accept

Big broadband companies including AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and Cox. They argue that the rules are too heavy-handed and will stifle innovation and investment in infrastructure. These firms have filed a series of lawsuits challenging the FCC’s authority to impose net neutrality rules.
The new FCC chairman argues that the 2015 rules were established on “hypothetical harms and hysterical prophecies of doom” and that they are generally bad for business.“It’s basic economics. The more heavily you regulate something, the less of it you’re likely to get,” he said.
“Consumers should be able to use the internet on the device they want, using the apps and services they want, without their internet provider standing in the way,” says Pelosi. “I support the current rules because they are in place to protect consumers, and I oppose your efforts to eliminate them.”
Pai has called his proposed rule making “Restoring Internet Freedom”.“Make no mistake about it: this is a fight that we intend to wage and it is a fight that we are going to win,” he said in a speech in April, Alongside the tech companies, pressure groups and activists including the American Library Association, ACLU, Free Press, Greenpeace and National Hispanic Media Coalition will all champion their support of the current rules today and press their followers to write to the FCC and their members of Congress to stop Pai overturning them.

Protecting First Amendment rights is as vital to the resistance efforts as stopping the FCC’s plan to kill Net Neutrality , against free-speech rights online It’s a fight everyone must take part in before it’s too late

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