Just a couple years ago, we were defending Net Neutrality from the Obama administration. Millions took action and raised their voices, and the battle was won. For the moment.
Today, in the upside-down world of the Trump administration, we have a former Verizon lawyer heading up the FCC. As his first order of business, Chairman Ajit Pai took steps to halt updates to Lifeline - an existing FCC program providing affordable telephone service that was in the process of expanding to provide affordable broadband to those in need. That’s just a taste of who this guy is.
Last week, after Congress voted to let internet service providers have their way with your data, Press Secretary Sean Spicer formally announced that next on the administration’s hit list is net neutrality. As a minority Republican member of the FCC in 2015, Pai voted against net neutrality, so we know where he stands.
But just as it was for Democrats, having the FCC revisit the net neutrality issue is going to be a political nightmare for Trump and Republicans. Pai has already said he will decline to enforce many of the consumer protections created during the Obama administration and that includes net neutrality, but he can only go so far with the rules still in place.
So here’s what you can do. Get involved right now with the organizations that will be at the forefront of this re-match. Head over to FreePress.net and the Electronic Frontier Foundation at EFF.org, and subscribe to these organizations’ email lists and follow them on social media (@FreePress and @EFF) so that you’ll get the latest updates and the calls to action. In the mean time, you should keep calling your Senators and Representatives and letting them know how upset you are about the latest attack on your privacy and how critical an open internet is to our democracy and a fair, just society. Let them know your vote depends on their response.
It’s infuriating to fight the same battles over and over again, but remember that this fight is not only about privacy. The fate of The Resistance may rest on this issue. FreePress.net put it more plainly than anyone else: “Everything people have been fighting for will be in jeopardy if we lose access to the open internet. The Trump administration will continue to threaten civil liberties, undermine a free press and strip away environmental protections. And we will be helpless to organize and resist without Net Neutrality.”
So, if saving a pillar of modern democracy is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Preparing to Save the Internet….Again via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.
Stay up to date on all the latest proposed legislation related to privacy on Countable.us
Net Neutrality Is Trump’s Next Target, Administration Says (The New York Times)
They Attacked Privacy. Net Neutrality is Next. (FreePress.net)
The FCC is stopping 9 companies from providing federally subsidized Internet to the poor (The Washington Post)
Posted April 4, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communication Director, Amanda Hoffman.
Hear this segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1092: Under surveillance from all angles (Privacy Rights)