Tech firms come together for 'net neutrality' protest

Thousands of websites are conducting a huge online protest against an FCC proposal

Tech giants such as Amazon, Netflix and Facebook are joining in with a host of activists, free speech groups and more in a day of protest against the Trump administration's plans to roll back rules on 'net neutrality'.

The protest is taking place as Ajit Pai, the new head of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), is preparing to dismantle tough rules protecting internet access in the US following pressure from cable companies and internet service providers.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Pai is a longtime critic of the 2015 'open internet' rules which he says came about because the FCC "succumbed to pressure from the White House". He said a heavy-handed regulatory framework was imposed on all ISPs and compares them to "utility-style regulations". Pai, who was designated chairman of the US telecoms and media watchdog by president Trump in January 2017, proposes a return to "the Clinton-era light touch framework that has proven to be successful". Pai has named his proposal "Restoring Internet Freedom".

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital civil liberties organisation, claims that the proposal would leave the door open to ISPs creating "internet fast lanes" that prioritize certain websites over others. It called for websites to "give the world a preview of what the internet will look like if the FCC goes forward with its plan to dismantle open internet protections".

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The EFF wants to do this to highlight that giving up protections for net neutrality will give ISPs a "frightening" amount of control over a user's internet experience. To take action, users can use the EFF's web form to send a letter to the FCC, who are accepting first comments on their proposal until 17 July.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The websites involved in the protest will be simulating what it will be like for users if they try and access their content if the FCC won't let net neutrality be. This includes pretending that users will have to pay a charge to access their websites which could come into effect should Pai succeed.

According to Battle for the Net there are thousands of websites involved in the protest, including heavyweights such as Google, AirBnB, Twitter and Snapchat. Also involved is OkCupid, Vimeo and, one of the world's most visited sites, Pornhub. To see a list of some of the companies involved head over to Battle for the Net which also details how websites and apps can get involved.

"If we lose net neutrality, the internet will never be the same," said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, one of the leading groups behind the protest, "No one wants their cable company to have control over what they can see and do online. Internet users know that their freedom is worth fighting for, and on July 12, we'll fight to win."

Image source: Battle for the Net

Featured Resources

Staying ahead of the game in the world of data

Create successful marketing campaigns by understanding your customers better

Download now

Remote working 2020: Advantages and challenges

Discover how to overcome remote working challenges

Download now

Keep your data available with snapshot technology

Synology’s solution to your data protection problem

Download now

After the lockdown - reinventing the way your business works

Your guide to ensuring business continuity, no matter the crisis

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

The pros and cons of net neutrality
Business strategy

The pros and cons of net neutrality

13 May 2020
US appeals court won't reconsider Net Neutrality repeal
Network & Internet

US appeals court won't reconsider Net Neutrality repeal

7 Feb 2020

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

3 Aug 2020
How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

4 Aug 2020
How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD
operating systems

How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD

3 Aug 2020