Franken tries to guilt Obama on net neutrality

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is lending his voice to a campaign aimed at holding President Obama accountable to a pledge he made during his 2008 campaign to uphold net neutrality.

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On Wednesday, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee launched a video featuring Franken calling for stronger net neutrality protections than those currently being floated by the Obama administration.

In the video, Franken calls net neutrality “the free speech issue of our time.”

"We cannot allow the FCC to implement a pay-to-play system that silences our voices and amplifies that of big corporate interests,” he said. 

“We have come to a crossroads. Now is the time to rise up and make our voices heard to preserve net neutrality.”

The site hosting the video, NoSlowLane.com, debuted earlier this month to protest a proposal from Federal Communications Chairman (FCC) Tom Wheeler that would allow Internet providers to charge content companies for better access.

The liberal group pointed to a pledge Obama made during his 2008 campaign to appoint FCC commissioners that would not allow Internet providers to “charge different rates to different websites" and called on Wheeler to keep to that commitment.

Wheeler's plan has drawn ire from net neutrality advocates, who say it goes against the agency’s original rules, which kept Internet providers from blocking or slowing access to certain websites.

Despite assurances from Wheeler that his new net neutrality plans would not allow Internet providers to make arrangements that hurt competition or consumers, critics say allowing these online "fast lanes" will create an unlevel playing field on the Internet.