Net neutrality needs you as much as you need it



The battle for net neutrality is ramping into high gear, as we anticipate an FCC vote on December 14 to either confirm or reject Chairman Pai’s draft order to undermine the 2015 Open Internet Order. With the future of the Internet, its capacity to continue fostering innovation, and freedom of expression online hanging in the balance, EFF encourages Internet users to speak out–both online and in the streets–to defend net neutrality.

Remote actions

You can can help defend net neutrality, wherever you’re located. We’ve set up tools to enable users to both email and call your Members of Congress, who will have an important role to play, especially if the FCC chooses to undermine innovation and freedom of expression by allowing ISPs to discriminate among their customers.

We’ve also suggested further opportunities to raise your voice both in communications with your representatives and in public, where your voice can carry an even greater impact. Finally, EFF is part of the Battle for the Net coalition, which is hosting an online petition and promoting further actions offline.

In-person actions

After you’ve taken action online, consider participating in any of the many actions planned around the country to champion the chance for anyone to access the Internet on equal terms.

On Thursday, December 7, responding to the company’s role in undermining user rights, allies are organizing protests at dozens of Verizon stores from coast-to-coast. An interactive map includes protest sites, as well as confirmed visits to congressional offices to amplify the message that Internet users want the right to access the network on equal terms, rather than according to their ability to pay a ransom to corporate ISPs.

A week later, allies–including the Center for Media Justice, Color of Change, the National Hispanic Media Center, and Free Press–will host a rally outside the FCC in Washington on the morning of the Commission’s vote on Chairman Pai’s draft order. A separate coalition has also organized a protest the day before the vote at the same site.

Whether or not you can join actions on December 7 in a city near you, or on December 13 or 14 in Washington, you can support these events by sharing links to more information in your social media channels. Make sure your community understands what’s at stake and why net neutrality (enforced by light touch FCC regulation) matters.

Planting seeds

If you’re motivated to do more, find an allied grassroots network where you live to build the movement for digital rights beyond the current flash point surrounding the FCC’s attack on net neutrality. From net neutrality to mass surveillance, and from Congress to local city councils, digital rights are both under attack and also present profound opportunity for local groups focused on making a public case for users.

If the Electronic Frontier Alliance has not yet recruited a local group near you, consider starting one! We’re eager to invite any network of 3 or more people taking action locally to inform, inspire, and mobilize their neighbors, classmates, colleagues, or friends to join the Alliance.

With a defining cornerstone of the Internet under attack from federal regulators and corporate ISPs, there’s never been a more important time to raise your voice to defend your rights online.

This story originally appeared on the EFF’s blog.

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