The drumbeat for real Net Neutrality is getting louder and louder. On May 15th we’re bringing the noise straight to the FCC’s doorstep. Hundreds of thousands of activists are coming out against the FCC’s plan to kill the open Internet.
Our rights to connect and communicate — via universally accessible, open, affordable and fast communications networks and devices — are essential to our individual, economic and political freedoms.
Yet these rights — codified in the First Amendment and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — are at the mercy of powerful phone, cable and Internet companies and the government agencies they collude with.
The Internet is the foremost battleground for free speech in the 21st century, and protecting our Internet freedom is essential to safeguarding our rights to speak and assemble in private. But the principles embodied in the Declaration of Internet Freedom — freedom of expression, access, openness, innovation and privacy — are under constant attack.
The attacks are both large and small, but all of them are chipping away at our basic rights.
Phone and cable companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon are raising prices, cutting service, blocking applications, censoring speech and violating our privacy. Internet companies — both familiar names and others you’ve never heard of — are compiling profiles of millions of people, selling the data and raking in billions. And federal agencies like the NSA are plying these same companies with requests for the data of millions of users — issuing these demands in secret and in the absence of any real accountability.
Meanwhile, thanks to a lawsuit from Verizon, a court overturned the Federal Communications Commission’s Net Neutrality rules on Jan. 14, 2014 — meaning that our Internet service providers are now free to block or otherwise interfere with online traffic. Policymakers on both sides of the aisle are trying to cut programs that guarantee universal access to communications networks. People around the country are at risk of losing basic connections — connections that, until now, we could take for granted.
We must build a movement to fight for our rights to connect and communicate.
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