Small Group Rallies Around Net Neutrality

by Ben Pena December 10, 2017, 2:10
Small Group Rallies Around Net Neutrality

Net neutrality regulations enacted in 2015 require that all internet traffic is treated the same by internet service providers.

But on December 14, the FCC - again in a party-line vote - is expected to take an ax to these rules, which FCC chairman Ajit Pai has called "heavy handed".

"If they take away net neutrality you will lose free speech", said Jane Redmond, a proponent of the current net neutrality policy.

Activist groups were protesting at hundreds of Verizon stores throughout the country Thursday ahead of the FCC's vote on a rollback of net neutrality protections.

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"The existing situation is good", said Wendi A. Haugh, associate professor of anthropology at St. Lawrence University, who was one of the protest organizers. Expected turnout is unknown, but the locations all have at least one person listed as a host.

Without net neutrality, these corporations could cut off access to websites they - or the United States government, which through the NSA has historically been tied to telecom companies - deem inappropriate for the public to read, just like in North Korea or China. Two employees, one in an Android mascot costume, even stood near protesters for a while, waving at cars. "We want Mr. LaMalfa to also commit to saying that he will keep net neutrality", said Anderson.

"The loss of net neutrality will disadvantage small businesses and startups, because in order to flourish, they need access to their customers, and if they are in the "slow" lane, they're not going to have the same access as larger companies who can afford to pay internet service at VIP speeds", said Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who introduced the resolution with Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez.

"For nearly 20 years, the internet thrived under the light-touch regulatory approach established by President Clinton and a Republican Congress", Pai said in a statement in November.


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