Thanks to your thousands of calls and letters, we took a major step forward this week in the fight for Internet freedom.
A bipartisan majority on the House Judiciary Committee yesterday passed the “Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act” — a good bill that would use antitrust law to protect Network Neutrality. Special thanks to those of you who called the key members who cast the deciding votes.
The question before us is simple: Will the Internet remain in the hands of users and innovators? Or will a handful of telephone and cable companies determine which Web sites you see and which you don’t? Yesterday’s vote — a milestone for our movement — would have been unthinkable just three weeks ago. But we’ve shown once again that organized people can defeat powerful corporations.
Our opponents spent untold millions on high-priced lobbyists, slick ad campaigns and fake grassroots groups. But the voices of hundreds of thousands of citizens — your voices — made the difference.
The SavetheInternet.com Coalition led by Free Press now boasts nearly 700 groups that span the political spectrum, including MoveOn.org, the Christian Coalition, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Gun Owners of America, Consumers Union, and the American Library Association. Thousands of blogs have taken up our cause. Yesterday, the coalition’s petition drive surpassed 750,000 signatures.
Our top priority is increasing the number of people who know about this threat to Internet freedom.
One thing you can do right now: Get five friends to join the fight
The struggle in Congress isn’t over. The full House will take up the bipartisan Judiciary bill (H.R. 5417) — as well as the massive rewrite of the Telecom Act — after they return in June. The Senate is also considering major legislation that currently fails to protect Net Neutrality, though a bipartisan group of Senators are lining up behind the excellent Snowe-Dorgan bill (S. 2917).
Our work is not done. But momentum is on our side.
We couldn’t have done it without you.
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About News From Underground
News From Underground is a daily e-news service run by Mark Crispin Miller, a Professor of Culture and Communication at NYU. It is based on his belief that academics, like reporters, have a civic obligation to help keep the people well-informed, so that American democracy might finally work.
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