Tech Companies Protest in a Losing Battle to Save Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality Protests

Odds are stacked against all the tech companies like Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, Etsy, Spotify, AirBnb, Reddit, Snap, Pornhub, DigitalOcean, Atlassian and string of other internet based companies and activist organizations(Fight for the Future, Free Press, and Demand Progress) who are protesting to defend the democratic ‘Net Neutrality’ rules. The FCC under its new Republican leader, Chairman Ajit Pai, seeks to undo the strong open internet protections implemented during the Obama administration, which prevent companies like AT&T, Charter, Comcast and Verizon from blocking or slowing down access to web content. And he already has the required votes to pass the resolution. This will break the very democratic nature of internet and will make almost impossible for small startups to get their product or service distributed fairly and equally unless they have connections with the new gatekeepers : the ISPs and Cable Companies.

The thesis of protests is to generate backlash and pressure forcing FCC to roll back the new rules. All the participating sites will display a variety of messages, or simulate the potential effects of losing the basic principle of all internet traffic being treated equally. Twitter wrote a blog post where it mentioned how it Twitter wouldn’t have existed without the fair , democratic and neutral internet. And the Internet Association, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group for Facebook, Google and other top tech giants, created a new advocacy web page helping concerned visitors share their views with the FCC. All companies are taking these actions urging their users to take notice and relevant action to show the backlash.

The US communications regulator FCC earlier this year voted to remove a rule that would prevent the prioritisation  or “throttling” of data, as well as other measures campaigners consider to be detrimental to the internet. This rule of net neutrality protection was established under Obama but after Trump came to office, FCC has attacked it vigorously.

“Internet service providers could create special fast lanes for content providers willing to pay more,” said Corey Price, vice president of PornHub.

“That means slow streaming, which, especially in regards to online porn, is quite problematic as you can imagine.”

Ajit Pai Net Neutrality
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai who has said : ‘ Net Neutrality Days are Numbered’


Campaigners told the BBC around 80,000 websites and services in all are taking part in the co-ordinated action that is designed to draw attention to a public consultation about the proposed rule reversal.

“What we want the FCC to hear, and we want members of Congress to hear, is that net neutrality is wildly popular, which it is, and we want them to stop trying to murder it,” said Sean Vitka, a lawyer for pro-net neutrality groups Demand Progress and Fight for the Future.

“It stops large companies, like internet service providers, from controlling who wins or loses on the internet. There’d be nothing to stop your ISP stopping the next Facebook, the next Google, from accessing customer’s equally. If a new company can’t access companies on the same terms as the incumbent’s they’re not going to have the chance to thrive.”

Opponents to net neutrality say it stifles innovation and discourages investment in telecoms infrastructure. Promoting investment in infrastructure is the strongest of the anti-net neutrality arguments, with major telecoms companies arguing that the Googles and Facebooks of the world would not be able to run were it not for the high-speed internet connections offered by internet service providers.

AT&T is ironically has joined the protest along with other companies but in reality it is the same company which has sought to put in place data prioritisation, which would allow web companies to pay AT&T in order to get priority.

Citizens of Internet (World’s largest virtual democracy ) need to standup and lend our support to protest today otherwise all that is weird, beautiful, magical and useful of internet will crumble.


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