We fought hard. In just the past few weeks, over a million of you turned up for Net Neutrality by calling the U.S. Congress, taking over your websites, and spreading the word on social media. The people have spoken that the free and open internet is here to stay — and voices from around the world are with you.
Despite all of this, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has played his hand. In a move to support big cable companies — including his former employer, Verizon — he pushed through a vote to repeal our current Net Neutrality protections, giving corporations free rein to monetize and control what we see and do online. We won’t sugar coat it — this is bad news. But it’s not the end of the road.
Activists and lawyers are already putting together a strong case to challenge the FCC’s move in court, and we’re going to keep the pressure on Congress to do the right thing and defend the free and open internet we all rely on. More than 80 percent of Americans — Democrats and Republicans, urban and rural communities, students and retirees, and everyone in between — approve of Net Neutrality. With key seats in the House and the Senate coming up for election in 2018 — including Republican party leadership — no one can afford to ignore the undeniable call of the American people to keep the internet open for all.
This is a narrow-minded step backwards by the Trump administration’s FCC, and it’s out of step with trends in the international community. From Europe to India, some of the world’s largest democracies are implementing strong, people-centered Net Neutrality protections, and it won’t take long for U.S. policymakers to feel the effects of that dissonance.
We’re sad today, but not as much as you might think. We’ve personally been working to support Net Neutrality since 2012. And others have been working a lot longer than that. This community had to fight a long and hard battle to win Net Neutrality protections in 2015, and we will keep fighting until we win them again — no matter how long it takes. It has taken generations to win the most important battles over free speech and civil rights. All advancement has come from people who refused to back down, and our fight for a free and open internet is no different.
We will be in touch as the landscape becomes more clear with next steps and more opportunities to take action. But for now, don’t lose heart. Keep engaging with your community about Net Neutrality and other issues that impact our human rights in digital spaces. Be vigilant in fighting false narratives about why we don’t need the open internet. And consider making a donation to organizations that are fighting to defend digital rights, both in the U.S. and around the world. Together, we can build a world in which all voices are honored, freedom of expression is respected, and spaces to create and innovate are preserved. In this moment of setback, let us commit together to press on regardless.