Brooklyn tech companies Etsy and Kickstarter joined dozens of other high profile websites today in protesting potential changes to “net neutrality” regulations.
Visitors to their sites were met with protests and calls for action.
At Kickstarter, visitors were met with a gray page with black letters reading “Defend Net Neutrality: Protect creativity, innovation and free speech in the digital age. Keep the internet open for everyone.”
The page included a “Take Action” button which leads to a screen that gives you your congressman’s number to call or to a petition on Fight for the Future (the nonprofit coordinating the protest).
— Julie Samuels (@juliepsamuels) July 12, 2017
“Two years ago, we fought alongside our community to keep the internet open and free from corporate control,” Kickstarter writes on the page. “Together, we won. The victory is now in danger. Big cable and phone companies are trying to get rid of Net Neutrality protections so that they can control—and profit from—the flow of information online. If they succeed, they’ll be able to slow down websites, censor content, and block the free exchange of ideas.”
At Etsy, a banner ran across the top of the homepage which read “Join our effort to keep the internet fast and fair” with a link to the petition.
The companies joined the likes of Amazon, Vimeo, Netflix, Github, Mozilla, Reddit, OkCupid and many more.
— Tim Berners-Lee (@timberners_lee) July 12, 2017
Fight for the Future argues that FCC rule changes would “Give big cable companies control over what we see and do online. If they get their way, they’ll allow widespread throttling, blocking, censorship, and extra fees.”
Today is the first of five days that the FCC will be taking public input on the issue.
Details of the FCC’s plans for rule changes remain unannounced. In an article from April, the Wall Street Journal explained Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai’s ideas this way:
Under federal law, the FTC lost much of its oversight of broadband providers when the FCC adopted its net neutrality policy, because the FCC rules reclassified broadband providers as common carriers subject to the agency’s oversight.
Mr. Pai’s plans likely would reverse that reclassification eventually, so the FTC again would have jurisdiction over the telecommunications carriers. To preserve the basic tenets of net neutrality, the plans would require broadband providers to pledge to abide by net neutrality principles such as no blocking or paid prioritization of internet traffic.
Pai himself has outlined what his vision is for the nation’s internet in an April speech titled “The Future of Internet Freedom.”-30-
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