Obama passes net neutrality protesters on Silicon Valley trip

President Obama passed a handful of protesters on Wednesday pushing back on potential new regulations that could lead to “fast lanes” on the Internet.

Driving through Silicon Valley on his way to a fundraising stop, Obama passed a number of signs protesting the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed way forward.

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“Stop cable company f-&:39$!ery," read one sign, referencing comedian John Oliver’s characterization of the proposal in a popular clip from his HBO show. 

The FCC proposal has caused a stir throughout the country and prompted more than 1 million formal comments by the commission’s deadline last week.

The pushback has been especially strong in Silicon Valley, where many venture capitalists and startups have warned that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s plan could allow Internet service providers like Comcast or Netflix to charge websites like Hulu or Netflix to ensure that users have the fast Internet speeds they need to easily stream videos and access their sites. That could shut out new innovative companies that can’t afford to pay the tolls, critics have warned.

The FCC is currently reviewing the first batch of comments to decide how to proceed with new regulations.

Obama is raising money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at the Los Altos Hills home of university professor George Marcus, who founded a real estate brokerage, and his wife, Judy. 

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) are also scheduled to give remarks.