Net Neutrality

John Oliver’s Show about FCC Attacking Net Neutrality


Table of Contents

What is Net Neutrality
The Attack on Net Neutrality
Why is Net Neutrality Important
Fake FCC Public Comments
S
tate Efforts


What is Net Neutrality

Save the Internet: Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know Now

“When you go online you have certain expectations. You expect to be connected to whatever website you want. You expect that your cable or phone company isn’t messing with the data and is connecting you to all websites, applications and content you choose. You expect to be in control of your internet experience.

When you use the internet you expect Net Neutrality.

Net Neutrality is the basic principle that prohibits internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use. Net Neutrality is the way that the internet has always worked.

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The Attack on Net Neutrality

Save the Internet: Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know Now

In 2015, millions of activists pressured the Federal Communications Commission to adopt historic Net Neutrality rules that keep the internet free and open — allowing people to share and access information of their choosing without interference.

But right now the internet is in peril. On Dec. 14, 2017, the FCC’s Republican majority approved Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to gut the Net Neutrality protections.

A former Verizon lawyer and a Trump appointee, Pai ignored the widespread outcry against his plan from millions of people, lawmakers, companies andco public-interest groups.

We can’t let Pai have the last word on this — which is why we’re calling on Congress to use a “resolution of disapproval” to overturn the FCC’s vote to dismantle the Net Neutrality rules.

Urge lawmakers to reverse the FCC vote today.

What is Net Neutrality?

Net Neutrality is the internet’s guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online. Net Neutrality means an internet that enables and protects free speech. It means that ISPs should provide us with open networks — and shouldn’t block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Just as your phone company shouldn’t decide who you call and what you say on that call, your ISP shouldn’t interfere with the content you view or post online.

The internet without Net Neutrality isn’t really the internet.

What will happen to the internet now?

Without the Net Neutrality rules, companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon will be able to call all the shots and decide which websites, content and applications succeed.

These companies can now slow down their competitors’ content or block political opinions they disagree with. They can charge extra fees to the few content companies that can afford to pay for preferential treatment — relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service.

The consequences will be particularly devastating for marginalized communities media outlets have misrepresented or failed to serve. People of color, the LGBTQ community, indigenous peoples and religious minorities in the United States rely on the open internet to organize, access economic and educational opportunities, and fight back against systemic discrimination.

Without Net Neutrality, how will activists be able to fight oppression? What will happen to social movements like the Movement for Black Lives? How will the next disruptive technology, business or company emerge if internet service providers let only incumbents succeed?

Tell me about the Title II rules we just lost. Why is Title II so important?

After a decade-long battle over the future of the internet, in 2015 the FCC adopted strong Net Neutrality rules based on Title II of the Communications Act, giving internet users the strongest protections possible.

Courts rejected two earlier FCC attempts to craft Net Neutrality rules and told the agency that if it wanted to adopt such protections it needed to use the proper legal foundation: Title II. In February 2015, the FCC did just that when it reclassified broadband providers as common carriers under Title II.

Title II gave the FCC the authority it needed to ensure that companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon can’t block, throttle or otherwise interfere with web traffic. Title II preserved the internet’s level playing field, allowing people to share and access information of their choosing. These rules ushered in a historic era of online innovation and investment.

The Title II rules also withstood two challenges from industry. Free Press helped argue the case defending the FCC — and on June 14, 2016, a federal appeals court upheld the open-internet protections in all respects.

We’re now preparing to sue the FCC to restore the Title II rules.

John Oliver: Fight Against Net Neutrality

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Why is Net Neutrality Important

Save the Internet: Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know Now

“Why is Net Neutrality so crucial for communities of color?

The open internet allows people of color to tell their own stories and organize for racial justice. When activists are able to turn out thousands of people in the streets at a moment’s notice, it’s because ISPs aren’t allowed to block their messages or websites.

The mainstream media have long misrepresented, ignored and harmed people of color. And thanks to systemic racism, economic inequality and runaway media consolidation, people of color own just a handful of broadcast stations.

This dynamic will only get worse: In 2017, Chairman Pai demolished most of the remaining media-ownership rules. The lack of diverse ownership is a primary reason why the media have gotten away with criminalizing and dehumanizing communities of color.

The open internet allows people of color and other vulnerable communities to bypass traditional media gatekeepers. Without Net Neutrality, ISPs could block speech and prevent dissident voices from speaking freely online. Without Net Neutrality, people of color would lose a vital platform.

And without Net Neutrality, millions of small businesses owned by people of color wouldn’t be able to compete against larger corporations online, which would deepen economic disparities.

Why is Net Neutrality important for businesses?

Net Neutrality is crucial for small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs, who rely on the open internet to launch their businesses, create markets, advertise their products and services, and reach customers. We need the open internet to foster job growth, competition and innovation.

It’s thanks to Net Neutrality that small businesses and entrepreneurs have been able to thrive online. But without Net Neutrality, ISPs will exploit their gatekeeper position and destroy the internet’s fair and level playing field.

Without Net Neutrality, the next Google or Facebook will never get off the ground.”

Why Net Neutrality Matters

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Fake FCC Public Comments

Fortune: More Than 1 Million FCC Comments Opposing Net Neutrality Were Probably Fake

“Data scientist Jeff Kao says that more than a million public comments in support of the FCC’s planned rollback of net neutrality rules are likely fake. Kao also, by removing the fake pro-repeal comments, concluded that more than 99% of the unique, human-authored comments on the system favored maintaining current net neutrality rules, which prevent internet service providers from charging more for some kinds of data than others.”

The realization that most anti-net neutrality public comments were fake came out a week before the FCC vote to remove net Net Neutrality and it did not stop any of the Republican FCC members from voting to remove Net Neutrality.

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State Efforts

The Verge: FCC will block states from passing their own net neutrality laws

After the FCC began its assault on net neutrality earlier this year, several cities and states began looking into ways to protect consumers on their own. Unfortunately, the FCC has decided that it won’t allow that to happen: as part of its proposal to repeal net neutrality, the commission is trying to use its authority to preempt any and all state and local net neutrality regulations.

The commission intends to block any local laws or regulations that “effectively impose rules or requirements that we have repealed or decided to refrain from imposing in this order or that would impose more stringent requirements for any aspect of broadband service that we address in this order.”

So to sum up: states can’t pass anything covered in the 2015 net neutrality order, they can’t pass anything the FCC mentioned but didn’t pass in this new order, and they can’t pass anything that would at all make life more difficult for ISPs. That seems to include the stricter privacy rules that Congress voted to throw out earlier this year.

The FCC says it’s able to implement this ban because internet access is an interstate service, and it’s impractical to make ISPs treat interstate and intrastate traffic differently. Doing so, the commission writes, would apply “far greater burdens” and “pose an obstacle to or place an undue burden on” the delivery of broadband internet.

It’s very likely this provision will end up being challenged in court, especially since states and localities have already started passing measures to protect consumers’ data.

NBC News: Washington state passes net neutrality law as states push back against the FCC

Net neutrality is dead at the federal level, but a push to revive it at the state level continues to gain traction. Washington on Monday became the first state to pass a law making it illegal for internet service providers to manipulate their networks for money.

Dozens of other states are considering similar measures through legislation and lawsuits. Governors in Montana, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey and Vermont have all signed executive orders on the issue…

…There’s just one problem: The new rules passed by the Federal Communications Commission in December, in a 3-2 vote along party lines, pre-empt states from making their own net neutrality laws.

The FCC’s new rules will officially go into effect on April 23, according to a notice published last month in the Federal Register. Washington’s law, which had bipartisan support, doesn’t take effect until June 6. Experts expect it could face legal challenges.

“This is symbolic politics, because the states know it is illegal to do,” Roslyn Layton, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, told NBC News. “But they can put rules on the book and make it look like they’re doing something.”

The FCC is already embroiled in a variety of lawsuits related to its rollback of net neutrality rules, including an effort from 21 state attorneys general to get a court to block the FCC’s move.”

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Learn More

John Oliver’s First 2014 Show about FCC Attacking Net Neutrality

ACLU: What Is Net Neutrality?

Save the Internet: Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know Now

Fortune: More Than 1 Million FCC Comments Opposing Net Neutrality Were Probably Fake

The Verge: FCC will block states from passing their own net neutrality laws

NBC News: Washington state passes net neutrality law as states push back against the FCC

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