Today, the FCC voted in a 3-2 decision to end Net Neutrality, allowing major service providers - Verizon, AT&T, Comcast - to control our internet access. Thanks to this, they'll be able to charge us to access sites we should have for free, like Yelp, or that we already pay to subscribe to, like Netflix and Hulu; they'll be able to slow down or cut off whatever websites they don't want us going on; and worst of all, they'll cripple freedom of expression. They'll also do this while getting incredibly rich, which is all FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and his fellow Republicans on the board care about.
Be angry. Be really, really angry about this. But don't become hopeless. These changes aren't going to take effect right away, and there are still things that you can do to combat the FCC from implementing this policy.
First, keep calling your representatives and Senators. I know, I know, you're sick of hearing it, I'm sick of doing it, but as long as you remind them that this is a pressing issue for you, they're more likely to listen. They can actually overturn this, and certain Congressmen and Senators of both parties have indicated they are willing to collaborate on bipartisan legislation to uphold Net Neutrality rules. Representative Mike Doyle has just stated he will introduce a resolution to repeal the FCC's decision. You can go to Battle for the Net and make a round of calls to voice your dissent to your representatives, or text "Resist" to 504-09 for more information.
Second, sign petitions. Here's one called Do Not Repeal Net Neutrality on Whitehouse.gov, and another one the same site called Replace Ajit Pai on the FCC. Another one is on Change.org, which I signed yesterday.
Third, find out when and where protests will be happening. If you live in the Bay Area, there's already talk of one tonight. Keep searching for them online and you will no doubt find something in your area within the next few days.
Four, get involved with a Democrat running for Congress or Senate next year and help their campaign. The new rules may be in place by the time of the 2018 midterms, and it's critical to elect people who will overturn them.
Five, support the oncoming lawsuits that are bound to happen. New York and Washington State have already announced them, and other corporations have announced intent to get involved. You can read about what lawyers will have to do to win their case in this Fast Company article.
The FCC and the Republicans want us to think there's nothing we can do, but giving up is never an option. If I've learned anything this last year, it's that no victory is ever final, and while that's a hard thing to learn about our side, it also goes for theirs. To quote Kate McKinnon, "I'm not giving up, and neither should you." Resist.
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