According to many sources, Mueller’s appointment and the Congress’ final slow slide into towards taking some action is a direct result of three things: excellent journalism, activist pressure (affecting both the aforementioned good journalism as well as Congress) and Trump’s unsurprising childish and self-incriminating behavior.
But as many Democratic leaders and activists have noted, we can’t let this issue distract from the Trump Administration’s on-going Gatsbyesque efforts to roll back all of the progress made in the Obama administration. One area targeted right now by the Trump administration is the open internet.
In this call, we ask you to submit comments to the FCC in support of the current Open Internet regulations and to call your Members of Congress.
Trump’s new FCC Chairman, Ajit Pal, wants to roll back current FCC regulations for an Open Internet. The FCC’s current rules were developed in 2014 after a period of intense public debate and comment. Public outcry overpowered the influence of the cable and phone companies, who had assumed that they were going to get a slam dunk on FCC rule-making.
Current FCC Open Internet regulations forbid ISPs from meddling with internet traffic. These rules protect and empower consumers; they also foster creativity and innovation. (You wouldn’t want National Grid to force you to rent their toaster, and ONLY their toaster, for example.) These regulations also give the FCC jurisdiction over the internet by regulating it as a utility — instead, Chairman Pai wants the much-weaker Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to have jurisdiction.
Current rules also mandate transparency from ISPs. They require that ISPs must be open about how traffic is managed over their networks— this way, users and the FCC can KNOW when there’s a problem. All future technologies and innovations can be assessed for their impact on consumers as they emerge; new protections then can be added if required. Under current rules, local governments now can play a crucial role by fostering competitive municipal and community networks (very important in rural locations), something Pai’s new rules would not permit. When users have choices and can vote with their feet, service providers have a strong incentive not to act in non-neutral ways.
A roll back of Open Internet regulations would not only weaken consumer protections, increase corporate power and hide corporate machinations, but would also stifle the creativity and innovation that has made the US a global technology leader.
Submit Comments to The FCC
Submit your comments to the FCC via the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s great commenting tool. It will collect comments and submit then to the FCC comments. While EFF provides a template and sample comment contents, you are encouraged to edit it by providing a personal story, in your own voice, about why an open internet is meaningful to you — you might wish to consider what it allows you to do in your daily life, or in your work.
Sample Call Script for Rep John Faso and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand
As your constituent, I urge you to protect the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order.
A free and open Internet is essential for a free and productive society. It is appropriate that the Internet be regulated by the FCC as a utility; it is just as necessary, if not more so, for the conduct of modern life as the telephone. [You can also add a personal story here.]
Please oppose any attempt by Chairman Pai to roll back the FCC’s net neutrality and other protections. I value the protections that the current rules provide. I also think that the proposed changes would stifle the creativity and innovation that has made the US a global leader in technology.
Will [Rep. Faso/Sen. Schumer/Sen. Gillibrand] show leadership by publicly opposing Chairman’s Pai’s proposed rules?
If yes, express your thanks.
If no or not sure, or vague response: express your disappointment about the lack of support for/concern about/attention to this very important issue.
Phone Numbers for Senators Schumer and Gillibrand
Speak out to Protect FCC’s #OpenInternetOrder – it is key to a free, productive, innovative society! @RepJohnFaso @SenSchumer @SenGillibrand