What good is free speech if powerful corporations have the ability to shut off or slow down viewpoints they find objectionable?
The bipartisan Internet Freedom Preservation Act (HR 5353), co-sponsored by Representatives Ed Markey (D-MA) and Chip Pickering (R-MS), was introduced into Congress on February 13th and represents a vital step in ensuring the Internet remains a level playing field for consumers and innovators.
Just as telephone companies are not permitted to tell consumers who they can call or what they can say, broadband carriers should not be allowed to use their market power to control activity online. Network Neutrality is the principle that Internet users, not service providers, should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet.
Big phone and cable companies like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner have worked very hard to oppose Net Neutrality and pave the way for “network management” practices that allow blocking of certain content in favor of Web sites and services the companies prefer.
The Markey-Pickering bill requires the FCC to actively protect the free-flowing Internet from gatekeepers, enforcing protections that “guard against unreasonable discriminatory favoritism for, or degradation of, content by network operators based upon its source, ownership, or destination on the Internet.”
Sign the petition at right; we’ll deliver your signatures in person to the FCC at a public hearing in Palo Alto, CA next week. We’ll also deliver the petitions to Congress as a vote on the Markey-Pickering bill approaches.