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Tech Giants Support 'Red Alert For Net Neutrality' Movement

Tech companies large and small have pledged support to Red Alert for Net Neutrality, a movement organized by the Fight for the Future digital rights organization, with the hope of convincing the U.S. Senate to vote in favor of overturning the FCC's repeal of net neutrality regulations.

Much of the tech industry was vocal about its opposition to FCC chairman Ajit Pai's plan to repeal Obama-era net neutrality protections since its revelation. Doing away with these regulations would make it easier for ISPs to charge people more to access popular services, separate traffic into "fast" and "slow" lanes, and give their first-party services preferential treatment by, say, not counting the data they use against their caps.

The back-and-forth over net neutrality eventually grew into its own little drama series. The FCC claimed that "Last Week Tonight" brought down its comments section, while others said bots were using those comments to make it seem like Americans supported net neutrality repeal even though most did not. Many organizations banded together to oppose the FCC's plan, but that didn't stop the commission from moving forward.

In the months since, individual states have worked on their own net neutrality regulations to create a patchwork system that emulates something we already had in place. This approach has its limitations, though, especially in that some states will offer strong net neutrality protections while others will leave consumers to fend for themselves. Overturning the FCC's repeal is the U.S.' best chance at comprehensive net neutrality rules.

Fight for the Future wants to push the Senate towards overturning the FCC's repeal. That's why it announced Red Alert for Net Neutrality, which will see participating websites and services display a "red alert" to their users. This alert is supposed to make it easy for people to find out who their representatives are and how they can make sure their voices are heard. Fight for the Future said in a blog post that:

The protest was just announced, but already Reddit, Mozilla, Etsy, Tumblr, Postmates, Vimeo, Foursquare, Twilio, Private Internet Access, Imgur, Fark, BoingBoing, and Gandi.net have said they plan to participate. Thousands of other large and small websites are expected to join. Companies and organizations will display prominent messages on their homepages or in their apps, while Internet users will be encouraged to flood social media with “red alert” messages, and change their avatars.

Red Alert for Net Neutrality kicks off on May 9. Fight for the Future said the movement will continue until the U.S. Senate concludes its vote.

  • dhayric
    You don't make sweeping regulations based on things that MAY happen. that is absolutely ridiculous. The left pretends there was no internet prior to 2015. Do you know anyone who has had their access to the internet cut off or their plans price skyrocket since the repeal? I doubt you do. There is very little evidence of the things NN was supposed to prevent from actually happening prior to NN.
    Reply
  • dhayric
    Toms even posted their own piece arguing against NN with very good points.

    https://www.tomsguide.com/us/why-us-internet-is-slow-and-expensive,news-26251.html
    Reply
  • caustin582
    20938533 said:
    You don't make sweeping regulations based on things that MAY happen. that is absolutely ridiculous. The left pretends there was no internet prior to 2015. Do you know anyone who has had their access to the internet cut off or their plans price skyrocket since the repeal? I doubt you do. There is very little evidence of the things NN was supposed to prevent from actually happening prior to NN.

    The net neutrality regulations were made in direct response to abusive actions by Comcast and other major cable companies. There is no "may" here. Prior to 2015 there were many regulatory rulings, but ISPs routinely skirted around them. You should read up on the history of the issue https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality_in_the_United_States#Regulatory_history
    Reply
  • husker
    Arguments in favor of Net Neutrality scare tactics to sneak a bunch of government regulations into something it doesn't currently control. Even if you buy into the reasons for NN, a much better solution is to allow for more competition among ISPs by breaking up the cable provider monopoly. If your ISP starts unfairly throttling your connection or filtering content, you could just switch to someone who actually wants to provide fair service in exchange for your money.
    Reply
  • gggplaya
    I actually like my cheap Tmobile tablet plan which has unlimited music streaming but 2GB for everything else. It's only $20 per month and I stream music nearly all the time. It technically violates net neutrality, but it something that some consumers want. So blanket rules about data aren't always a win, sometimes it's a lose for consumers. Tmobile has the same thing with BingeON video for their tablet plan at $35 per month. Watch as much youtube as you want. If you ride the train like I do, it's really nice.
    Reply
  • caustin582
    20938621 said:
    Arguments in favor of Net Neutrality scare tactics to sneak a bunch of government regulations into something it doesn't currently control. Even if you buy into the reasons for NN, a much better solution is to allow for more competition among ISPs by breaking up the cable provider monopoly. If your ISP starts unfairly throttling your connection or filtering content, you could just switch to someone who actually wants to provide fair service in exchange for your money.

    Okay, so let's break up the cable monopolies. I agree that would be the best solution, but good luck getting that to happen. Until then, we're better off with NN.
    Reply
  • gggplaya
    20938606 said:
    20938533 said:
    You don't make sweeping regulations based on things that MAY happen. that is absolutely ridiculous. The left pretends there was no internet prior to 2015. Do you know anyone who has had their access to the internet cut off or their plans price skyrocket since the repeal? I doubt you do. There is very little evidence of the things NN was supposed to prevent from actually happening prior to NN.

    The net neutrality regulations were made in direct response to abusive actions by Comcast and other major cable companies. There is no "may" here. Prior to 2015 there were many regulatory rulings, but ISPs routinely skirted around them. You should read up on the history of the issue https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality_in_the_United_States#Regulatory_history

    Comcast was throttling Bittorrent downloads, which you know most of that traffic was not legal and taking up alot of bandwidth. I'm for some Net Neutrality as long as they have rules where the consumer wins in the end. But a blanket regulation that all data is equal is simply stupid.

    For instance, if the bandwidth for a particular neighborhood was being saturated by a few houses using bittorrent. I think it would be reasonable to throttle them. The government could make it so that Comcast is allowed to throttle 20-30 days of the year, for times when people are home for the holidays, or there's an unusually large amount of traffic that day. Being only given a certain amount of days would mean they couldn't oversell a neighborhood, they'd still have to make upgrades, but it would mean all the customers would be able to get a fair share of the bandwidth if Comcast was allowed to prioritize web surfing or something to that extent to make sure the majority of people have a good experience. That would be a reasonable regulation.

    Another reasonable net neutrality regulation would be the ability to throttle by type of data, but not specifically from any provider. That would still allow for the "little dogs" to compete with the big dogs at a level playing field. So for instance, if a small competitor to netflix wanted to rise up and sell streaming movies, comcast would be forced to throttle both providers equally and wouldn't be allowed to charge for fast lanes. Also, if you stipulated that comcast would only be allowed to throttle during times of high congestion, and like I said earlier, for maybe only 20-30 days out of the year. It would mean they'd still have to keep their network upgraded to allieviate systemic traffic congestion.

    The biggest problem with internet in this country is not net neutrality. It's a lack of service providers and consumer ISP choice. That's what people should be fighting for. When you look at the largest campaign donators from the 2012 and 2016 elections, you'll see some of the largest as Comcast, ATT, Verizon etc.... They people unfortunately have their hands in the pockets of both Democrats and Republicans. That's why they have local monopolies.
    Reply
  • caustin582
    20938664 said:
    20938606 said:
    20938533 said:
    You don't make sweeping regulations based on things that MAY happen. that is absolutely ridiculous. The left pretends there was no internet prior to 2015. Do you know anyone who has had their access to the internet cut off or their plans price skyrocket since the repeal? I doubt you do. There is very little evidence of the things NN was supposed to prevent from actually happening prior to NN.

    The net neutrality regulations were made in direct response to abusive actions by Comcast and other major cable companies. There is no "may" here. Prior to 2015 there were many regulatory rulings, but ISPs routinely skirted around them. You should read up on the history of the issue https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality_in_the_United_States#Regulatory_history

    Comcast was throttling Bittorrent downloads, which you know most of that traffic was not legal and taking up alot of bandwidth. I'm for some Net Neutrality as long as they have rules where the consumer wins in the end. But a blanket regulation that all data is equal is simply stupid.

    For instance, if the bandwidth for a particular neighborhood was being saturated by a few houses using bittorrent. I think it would be reasonable to throttle them. The government could make it so that Comcast is allowed to throttle 20-30 days of the year, for times when people are home for the holidays, or there's an unusually large amount of traffic that day. Being only given a certain amount of days would mean they couldn't oversell a neighborhood, they'd still have to make upgrades, but it would mean all the customers would be able to get a fair share of the bandwidth if Comcast was allowed to prioritize web surfing or something to that extent to make sure the majority of people have a good experience. That would be a reasonable regulation.

    The biggest problem with internet in this country is not net neutrality. It's a lack of service providers and consumer ISP choice. That's what people should be fighting for. When you look at the largest campaign donators from the 2012 and 2016 elections, you'll see some of the largest as Comcast, ATT, Verizon etc.... They people unfortunately have their hands in the pockets of both Democrats and Republicans. That's why they have local monopolies.

    Torrents are used for plenty of legitimate downloads. It's a very efficient way to share data. Regarding bandwidth, NN regulations do not prevent companies from putting throttles, caps, or extra charges on high bandwidth accounts. If someone's using too much, they can slow them down or make them pay more. NN just stops ISPs from inspecting the *type* of data and treating it differently based on their own judgment.

    Edit: The reason this is so important is because an ISP's ability to control data introduces a severe conflict of interest. Comcast wasn't just throttling bittorrent; they were also caught throttling Netflix. Again, if Netflix was simply taking up too much bandwidth, Comcast would be well within their rights, under the full provisions of net neutrality, to throttle the connection of those who are using too much bandwidth because of it. But they were specifically throttling/blocking Netflix data regardless of how much bandwidth people were streaming from it. Now why would they do that? Could it have anything to do with the fact that Comcast offers television service, and more and more people these days are pulling the plug in favor of online content? Hmm.
    Reply
  • lperreault21
    Ajit pai has such a punchable face
    Reply
  • feelinfroggy777
    The big tech companies are for net neutrality because they don't want to have to go through ISPs to get their content to you, so it saves them money. The ISPs want net neutrality so they can promote their content, or force the big tech companies to pay up to get their products promoted, so they make more money. In the end if you are for net neutrality or against it, you are just a pawn for these businesses to make more money.
    Reply