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UPDATE: The fight to save Internet equality

(reposted from an email received today from CREDO Action). Please note that while World Pulse sisters in the US can sign the petitions and participate in activism on this issue, for many sisters around the world this could be a terrible blow in the fight for digital empowerment for women and girls, yet they are not able to make their voices heard to the decisionmakers. It's up to us to provide a proxy for them. For some, continued internet equality could even be a matter of survival, so it's a prayerful issue as well. I'm posting this so we can all lend our power to the preservation of Net Neutrality in whatever way we can.

The FCC is meeting this Thursday to consider Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal to put the final nail in the coffin of Net Neutrality. We wanted to update you on where things stand.

The good news is that there’s tremendous momentum in the fight to stop the corporate takeover of the Internet.

Over 300,000 CREDO activists have joined you in signing petitions to the FCC telling them to stop the corporate takeover of the Internet.

Click here to find easy ways to spread the word to your friends and family about this important issue.

In addition, over 803 of you have called Chairman Wheeler opposing his plan and over 3,000 have called Senate Democrats asking them to oppose Wheeler’s plan to end Net Neutrality.

And CREDO is part of a large coalition of groups including our friends at Demand Progress, Color of Change, Fight for the Future, MoveOn, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Free Press and Democracy for America (among many others) that are speaking with one voice about the need to reclassify broadband to preserve Net Neutrality.

This activism is bearing fruit.

On Wednesday, two FCC commissioners who support strong Net Neutrality rules voiced concerns about Chairman Wheeler’s proposal, both of whom explicitly noting the torrents of emails and calls that have flooded the agency by those concerned that the chairman’s plan spelled the death of Net Neutrality.

And on Friday, 11 senators led by Oregon’s Ron Wyden sent a strong missive to Chairman Wheeler rejecting his plan and urging him explicitly to consider reclassifying broadband. Some highlights of their letter:

"Changing the rules – to let broadband Internet Service Providers (ISPs) demand payment from websites and app developers – would eradicate Net Neutrality, not preserve it. Any time one group of packets is favored on an IP network the rest of the traffic is, by definition, discriminated against. Given the current state of congestion the ISPs have allowed to develop at their interconnections with the Internet, any discrimination results in a degradation or blocking of services to the consumer – services the consumer has paid for.

[…]

The time has come for the FCC to adopt Net Neutrality rules that provide clear, strong protections for the Open Internet and all Americans, once and for all."

Other signers of this letter include: Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Al Franken, Jeff Merkley, Ed Markey, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Richard Blumenthal, Chuck Schumer and Barbara Boxer.

On top of all of this, over 100 Internet companies including heavyweights like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Twitter, Yahoo and eBay wrote a letter to the FCC this week supporting a “free and open Internet” and saying that strong anti-discrimination rules are “essential for the future of the Internet.” These companies took strong aim at the chairman’s proposal, saying:

According to recent news reports, the Commission intends to propose rules that would enable phone and cable Internet service providers to discriminate both technically and financially against Internet companies and to impose new tolls on them. If these reports are correct, this represents a grave threat to the Internet

Now we need to keep the momentum going.

Activists with Fight for the Future’s “Occupy the FCC” campaign have already camped outside the FCC building in Washington, DC (and will be there through Thursday), and CREDO activists will be joining their daily solidarity rallies at noon and 5pm.

And on Thursday morning, there’ll be a big rally at the FCC while the commission is debating Chairman Wheeler’s proposal.

Meanwhile, we’ll continue to send calls to the FCC and Congress to put a stop to the corporate takeover of the Internet.

Whatever the outcome this Thursday, there’ll doubtlessly be a lot of work to do. It’s now or never for Net Neutrality, and your activism really matters.

Becky Bond, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

This story was written for World Pulse’s Women Weave the Web Digital Action Campaign. Learn more »

Comments

Mary S's picture

These two petitions are

These two petitions are related to net neutrality, and look as though they can be signed from anywhere in the world - both worked from here in England

http://www.avaaz.org/en/internet_apocalypse_loc/
https://www.change.org/petitions/tom-wheeler-save-net-neutrality

Mary, you're a lifesaver...Everyone, it would help if you sign both petitions. AVAAZ is a particularly powerful social action organization and their petition has over one million signatures. so if you're going to choose one, that would be the best. Remember, This issue will be decided on May 15. Time is of the essence, so please take a moment to sign one or both of these global petitions now so you will be included when they deliver the petitions to Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the FCC!

busayo's picture

Well done!!

Well done for this initiative and petition, there should Net Neutrality and it is very important. Rules to discriminate will pose a serious threat to internet and those who are using it. Although here in the developing countries we are still strongly with issues of access and affordability. Thank you for the good work.

Warmest
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

hanasazi's picture

I truly hope and pray that

I truly hope and pray that the Pay-to-Play rule is abandoned when the FCC decides on this proposal tomorrow. The last thing my sisters around the world need is another burdensome situation that inhibits them from getting online and having a worldwide voice! ♥ Thank you for commenting!

Dear hanasazi:

Thank you so much for this post. I had not been following this discussion; now I realize how important it is.
The internet has made possible so much connection between people around the world, allowing them to share ideas, thoughts, strategies for action, and also to work together for change.
Anything that makes the internet less accessible acts against this ability to work together to create change.

Best wishes,
Rosemary

hanasazi's picture

I'm so glad you learned how

I'm so glad you learned how important this subject is in time to add your voice to the many who are crying out against any change in the original principle of Net Neutrality upon which the Internet was founded! There are so many reasons not to allow the corporate takeover of the internet. It is ironic that when you sign one of these petitions, the reply you receive from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's office is that he's all about supporting an open internet, yet industry pressure (and the fact that he wrote this proposal himself) has seen him caving in to wealthy corporate interests. The proposal in front of the FCC would allow Comcast, AT&T and other big telecom companies to decide who can benefit from fast Internet speed -- while slowing down, or even blocking, everyone else -- and making millions in profit from it! The latest email from Avaaz.org indicates that there’s a major backlash -- they pressured the FCC with a million strong campaign, and now major tech companies, investors and members of Congress are slamming this dangerous proposal.

Thank you so much for commenting. Anyone else who would like to sign this petition in advance of the meeting, which is now just hours away, can do so here: Avaaz.org Petition to Preserve Net Neutrality

Additional links for more information:
Net Neutrality: What is it, and why is the US about to lose it? (Al Jazeera)

FCC Net-Neutrality Plan in Chaos (Time)

Baffled by 'Net Neutrality'? Read This (WSJ)

The FCC is about to axe-murder net neutrality. Don't get mad – get even (the Guardian)

And this one, published in the Wall Street Journal yesterday:

‘Net neutrality’ puts FCC at center of storm
puts forth a detailed history of the issue, who's for and against it, what the current status really is, and addresses many factors that are helping to define it.

Dear Hanasazi,
Thank you very much for posting this important topic that we are facing in many Countries around the world. Amazing initiative and fear petition. Net neutrality is fundamental in the XXI century. It can be so much that we can do with internet access, bring the world together without distance limitations and opportunities for everyone to support each other. It makes me sad that just because wealthy corporate business interests, " minority of the people" we have to pay the price , instead of taking a role play of all been benefited of the internet free access.
Please share with us how everything is moving forward.
All my best wishes,
MariaAle

Maria Alejandra Alcaraz

hanasazi's picture

I'm so glad to see you add

I'm so glad to see you add your voice to this conversation! I have received a suggestion that I post another article on this topic as a Need in the Resource Exchange. It is dreadful that the FCC voted 3-2 to continue with the Pay-to-Play proposal on May 15. I was stunned at the disregard for the lives of people inherent in this decision, when literally millions of people have signed the petitions, both within our country and the international ones at Avaaz.org and Change.org. My heart sank into my belly when thinking how badly this could affect my sisters around the world who are struggling to find their voice and already having to overcome such difficulties to do so. But it appears there will be another window of time during which we can voice our most strong disapproval, so I will collect everything I have written so far, update it all and post as a Need once I know when this window for public comment will occur. Thank you so much for your participation!

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