July 12th is a big “day of action” for the proponents of net neutrality, as they plan something of a counter-attack to the FCC’s plan to repeal Title II rules.
Last month, the FCC, led by chairman Ajit Pai, has decided to reverse the decisions made in 2015 (Title II of the Telecommunications Act) that obliges Internet service providers to treat all online services equally.#July12th is the #NetNeutrality #DayofActionClick To Tweet
However, the FCC vote this May didn’t put the kibosh on net neutrality just yet. The FCC has set a consultation period of several months to discuss the proposals and has called for public comments and feedback–which they got a lot of back in 2015.
Net Neutrality Between Fake Supporters and Real Opponents
At the end of the public commenting phase, later this year, FCC members will issue their finalized proposal that, presumably, will take into account public feedback.
However, the legitimacy of this campaign is being called into question with the discovery of numerous fake messages posted by bots.
The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), a non-profit watchdog organization, analyzed 2.5 million comments filed with the FCC and revealed that about one-fifth (20%) of anti-net neutrality commenters were fake posts.
Despite an unfavorable situation, supporters of the 2015 net neutrality rules intend to make use of this development in order to form a coalition and defend the principles of a “free and open Internet.” Fight for the Future, the net neutrality advocacy group, has urged the FCC to remove and investigate these fake comments.
— The FCC (@FCC) May 15, 2017
Fight for the Future’s day of Action Rallying Call
Faced with the FCC’s plan to renege on the principles of net neutrality, ones that have been the cyber world’s status quo since it began, Fight for the Future, is also organizing an internet-wide day of action next week on July 12th. Many different organizations including Amazon, Netflix, and even Pornhub.
Fight for the Future has officially launched a website dedicated to the campaign and its July 12th day of action, battleforthenet.com.
Dozens of major companies, organizations, associations, and non-profit groups have already joined the FFF initiative. Among them are also Mozilla, Github, Reddit, Creative Commons, Greenpeace, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), Consumers Union, Etsy, Vimeo and many others.
Netflix recently muddied its stance on the matter. After a speech by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, its clear that net neutrality is no longer a main focus of the company, despite still being a part of battleforthenet.com.
“We had to carry the water when we were growing up and we were small,” Reed Hastings said, indicating that Netflix no longer has to worry about net neutrality regulations potentially affecting profits. “Now other companies need to be on that leading edge.”