Techies set aside July 12, to fight for Net Neutrality

The world has joined hands today July 12 2017 as an Internet-Wide Day of Action  to fight for new neutrality.

Two months ago, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced his plan to abandon the agency’s commitment to protecting net neutrality. Everyone is using this day to highlight how the web would look if telecom companies were allowed to control it for profit. Organizing groups such as Fight for the Future, Free Press Action Fund, and Demand Progress want their actions to call attention to the potential impact on everyday users, such as having to pay for faster internet access. 

Tech companies including Facebook, Google, Amazon, Vimeo, Spotify, Reddit notify their users that net neutrality – a founding principle of the open internet – is under attack. EFF too is joining the huge coalition of nonprofits and companies in a day of action standing up for net neutrality.

What is Net neutrality?

Net neutrality is the idea that internet service providers (ISPs) treat everyone’s data equally – whether that’s an email from your mother, a bank transfer or a streamed episode of The Handmaid’s Tale. This means that internet service providers are not allowed to choose which data is sent more quickly, and which sites get blocked or throttled/slowed down (for example, slowing the delivery of a TV show because it is streamed by a video company that competes with a subsidiary of the ISP) and who has to pay extra. For this reason, some have described net neutrality as the “first amendment of the internet”.

“Net neutrality is basically the principle that keeps the internet open. Without it, big cable companies will be able to slow down certain websites and pick winners and losers on the internet,” said Mark Stanley from Demand Progress, one of the activist groups organizing the day of action.

How to participate today:

One simple way that organizations, companies, and even individuals can participate is to install the EFF widget. If you’ve installed the widget on your website, then on July 12, visitors will be greeted with an alarming message:

This widget will send a clear message to your site’s visitors: giving up protections for net neutrality will give ISPs a frightening amount of control over your Internet experience.

Take action today.