Amazon, Reddit join internet 'day of action' for net neutrality

Amazon, Reddit join internet 'day of action' for net neutrality
© Greg Nash

A coalition of activists and internet companies is mobilizing net neutrality supporters for an online demonstration next month against the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) plan to repeal the landmark rules.

The groups announced on Tuesday that they will be holding an “internet-wide day of action” on July 12 and will help supporters flood the FCC and Congress with pro-net neutrality messages.

Amazon appears to be the largest web company involved in the demonstration and is joined by Reddit, Etsy, Vimeo, Mozilla and others. Also sponsoring the protest are advocacy groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Greenpeace.

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“Massive online mobilization got us the strong net neutrality protections that we have now, and we intend to fight tooth and nail to defend them,” Evan Greer, campaign director for the group Fight for the Future, said in a statement.

“Politicians in Washington, DC need to learn that net neutrality is not a partisan issue and Internet users will not tolerate these attacks on our basic rights — we will come together to protect the web as an open platform for free expression and exchange of ideas.”

The FCC is currently taking public comments on Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to repeal the legal framework for the agency’s net neutrality rules, which prohibit internet service providers from blocking or throttling web content, or creating “fast lanes” for websites to buy into.

Republicans like Pai as well as the broadband industry oppose the regulations because they reclassified internet service as a public utility, meaning that providers were opened up to tougher regulation from the FCC. They say those rules are stifling innovation and hurting the economy.

There aren’t many details on what the groups are planning for the day of action, but their announcement stressed that the organizing has just begun.

Net neutrality proponents have been trying to mobilize supporters to submit comments in favor of the regulations to the proceeding. The strategy seems to be working, as the docket currently has over 4.9 million comments.