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Net Neutrality: What happened during the July 12 Internet-Wide Day of Action protest

Haley Velasco | July 17, 2017
Major websites and a few tech celebrities joined the protest.

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Credit: Courtesy Fight the Future

Updated July 14: The Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality on July 12 enjoyed a healthy turnout.Thousands of companies and some visible tech celebrities united against the FCC proposal called Restoring Internet Freedom, by which the new FCC chairman Ajit Pai hopes to loosen regulations for the ISPs and telecom companies that provide Internet service nationwide. The public has until mid-August to give comments to the FCC.

The protests took many forms. Organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union, Reddit, The Nation, and Greenpeace placed website blockers to imitate what would happen if the FCC loosened regulations. Other companies participating online displayed images on their sites that simulated a slowed-down Internet, or demanded extra money for faster access.

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 For the July 12 Internet-Wide Day of Action advocating net neutrality, sites including The Nation displayed images showing people what the web would be like if corporations operated it for a profit. Credit: Haley Velasco/IDG

Tech giant Google published a blog post in defense of net neutrality. “Today’s open internet ensures that both new and established services, whether offered by an established internet company like Google, a broadband provider or a small startup, have the same ability to reach users on an equal playing field.”

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Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg posted to her page about net neutrality as part of the July 12 Internet-Wide Day of Action. Credit: Melissa Riofrio/IDG

Facebook joined in with Sheryl Sandberg posting her message on Facebook as well as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “Keeping the internet open for everyone is crucial. Not only does it promote innovation, but it lets people access information that can change their lives and gives voice to those who might not otherwise be heard,” Sandberg said.

In Washington, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said in a statement that she supports a free and open internet. “Its benefits can be felt across our economy and around the globe,” she said. “That is why I am excited that on this day consumers, entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes, including broadband providers and internet startups, are speaking out with a unified voice in favor of strong net neutrality rules grounded in Title II. Knowing that the arc of success is bent in our favor and we are on the right side of history, I remain committed to doing everything I can to protect the most empowering and inclusive platform of our time.”

 

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