Published: Wed, June 07, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

Amazon Joins Protest Supporting Net Neutrality

Amazon Joins Protest Supporting Net Neutrality

The campaign hasn't decided yet what form the protest will take, but campaign director Evan Greer told The Register it will be created to "display a prominent message" and contain "simple tools to allow people to contact lawmakers and the FCC".

Tech companies including Amazon, Etsy, Vimeo, and Reddit are coming together for a day of action on July 12 to protest the potential rollback of net neutrality rules proposed by the Federal Communications Commission.

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Fight for the Future says that July 12 will be a "day of action" on net neutrality, similar to the previous internet slowdown and SOPA blackout, part of the successful campaign to stop the Stop Online Piracy Act-not the first time that similarity has been invoked in the present pushback on FCC chairman Ajit Pai's play to reverse the Title II classification of ISPs.

Under Pai, rules imposed in 2015 meant to uphold "net neutrality" may be neutered. Participants in the event include Amazon, Kickstarter, Etsy, Reddit, Mozilla, Vimeo, GitHub and Y Combinator. "Websites, Internet users, and online communities will come together to sound the alarm about the FCC's attack on net neutrality", the protest website says.

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Fight for the Future, the group organizing the day of action, wants to use the day to encourage internet users to chime in on the need for net neutrality. Other companies big and small are expected to join the campaign, Evan Greer, campaign director for Fight for the Future, told SiliconBeat in an email Tuesday. Those rules, which were enacted by the FCC in 2015, essentially treat internet and wireless providers like public utilities, barring them from prioritizing any services on their networks. They are to be joined by more than 30 public interest and advocacy groups including Greenpeace, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Media Justice. "We're proud to stand alongside so many others today to preserve net neutrality, and to protect the freedoms that make the internet such a powerful force".

Net neutrality proponents have been trying to mobilize supporters to submit comments in favor of the regulations to the proceeding.

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The net neutrality rules that are now in danger because of a changing of the guard at the White House and the FCC were put in place after a massive campaign that included a record amount of comments at the time - almost 4 million - being submitted to the Federal Communications Commission a couple of years ago.

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