They Work for Us

Sometimes you have to remind Washington politicians whom they really work for. Today is one of those days.

The big phone and cable companies have launched an all-out assault on Capitol Hill to try to stop Net Neutrality. They've hired hundreds of lobbyists, spent tens of millions of dollars, and unleashed sleazy Astroturf groups to mislead politicians, distort the facts, and resurrect long-debunked myths.

The bad news is that these dirty and deceitful tactics appear to be working on a few people who should know better.

This afternoon, several dozen Democrats sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission asking them to walk away from their plans to protect Net Neutrality.

Their letter parrots telco talking points -- which had to come from somewhere, and it certainly wasn’t from the more than 1.6 million people who have signed a petition in support of Net Neutrality.

It’s outrageous: The lawmakers we’ve elected to look out for us in Washington are saying they’d rather hand the Internet over to a few powerful corporations than safeguard it for the public.

They're also going against President Obama’s tech agenda that supports a free and open Internet, where competition and innovation can flourish. The president has said he'll take a "back seat to no one in my commitment to Net Neutrality" -- but it looks like these legislators are riding in the wrong car.

In September, following through on Obama's campaign pledge, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced that the commission would make clear rules to protect Net Neutrality, the principle that stops Internet service providers from blocking and controlling online content. On Thursday, the FCC will vote on a notice of proposed rulemaking to establish Net Neutrality rules, which is the first step in the regulatory process.

But the deep-pocketed telco lobby on the Hill is doing everything it can to derail protections for an open Internet. They're trying to poison the well even before the rules are circulated for public comment.

How is it that a handful of corporations are co-opting the debate? This is a clear example of "special interests" vs. "real Americans."

Corporations don’t want any rules that prohibit them from acting as Internet gatekeepers -- they don’t even want the FCC to consider them. And they’ve got the influence and power to convince lawmakers to act against our interests and reject an open Internet.

But we’re powerful, too, and we’ve got to show it. Now’s not the time to be timid. We need the millions of people who've spoken out in support of Net Neutrality to send a resounding message to the FCC that the public supports them. And we need to let millions more know that the future of the Internet is at stake.

Add your name to the petition for an open Internet right now. Then Tweet it. Facebook it. Ask your friends to do it. The fight for Net Neutrality is very real, and it’s getting nasty.

Oh, and if you see the name of your representative at the bottom that letter, you might want to give them a call and remind them who's boss.

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good