This week, Congress is going to begin to decide if it wants to support the idea of Net Neutrality. It is going to start examining whether the government should ever be able to step in if Internet Service Providers (ISPs) decide to pick and choose which websites and services work, and which ones do not. It will start considering a bill that would not only repeal the FCC’s current Net Neutrality regulations, but also prevent the FCC from making any Net Neutrality rules in the future.
On Thursday The Internet Strikes Back and tells Congress to support Net Neutrality and to vote against that bill. Join the campaign and sign up to call Congress on Thursday.
The week actually started a bit early. On Friday at the annual Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) conference, Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) railed against Net Neutrality as “basically the fairness doctrine,” “nationalization of the Internet,” and “regulating political speech” and promised to overturn it.
The real action begins on Wednesday, when the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology holds a hearing “Network Neutrality and Internet Regulation: Warranted or More Economic Harm than Good?” The hearing will discuss the attempt to repeal existing Net Neutrality rules and block any new rules going forward (for a more detailed explanation of this process, click here).
Committee leadership’s opinion about Net Neutrality is clear from the fact that they confuse rules governing access to the Internet (Net Neutrality) with “Internet Regulation” (something being pushed by no one as far as we can tell). If you tune in to watch on Wednesday, expect to hear a lot of talk about government takeovers of the Internet at the expense of ISPs and comparatively less discussion about ISPs throttling access to websites and services that they compete against.
In fact, if you do watch the hearing or read any of the coverage afterwards you are likely to get pretty angry. You may even say to yourself “how can I set Congress straight?”
That is where The Internet Strikes Back comes in. On Thursday, the day after the hearing, you – the Internet – will call in to Congress and set them straight. You – the Internet – are going to make it clear that ISPs cannot be gatekeepers and do not get to choose which websites work and which websites do not work. You – the Internet – will tell all of Congress to join the 105 Representatives who have already come out clearly in support of a free and open Internet.
One of the best parts of The Internet Strikes Back is that the Internet can help you participate. If you sign up now on the Internet, you will get a text message from the Internet on Thursday. When you respond to that text the Internet will automatically call you and give you a quick reminder of what is going on. Once you are comfortable with the message, the Internet will automatically connect you to your very own Congressional Representative. Then the Internet leaves it up to you to tell your Representative to protect Net Neutrality.
And yes, there is more that you can do to help The Internet Strikes Back. Thank you for asking. On the site there is a button that you can put on your website. Spread the word on Twitter. Spread the word on Facebook. If you are feeling especially bold, spread the word in real life. Tell everyone you know who has ever used the Internet or ever aspires to use the Internet that it is time to strike back. Do it now.