Free Press Ad Warns Against Industry Takeover of Open Internet

Free Press and ran a full-page ad in the Washington Post today to further express our outrage that the Federal Communications Commission held closed-door meetings with industry representatives and lobbyists about important Internet policies.

The ad urges the FCC not to bargain away the open Internet and calls on President Obama to uphold his promise to “take a back seat to no one on Net Neutrality.”

Here’s a link to the ad:

Free Press President and CEO Josh Silver called the meetings “inexcusable,” and said, “After the financial crisis and the oil spill, you would think the Obama administration would have learned a lesson. But we won’t stand by and watch the Internet go the way of Wall Street and the Gulf of Mexico.”

FCC Chief of Staff Edward Lazarus has tried to explain away the backroom meetings in a post on the FCC’s blog, making weak excuses for the agency's behavior alongside vague promises to include others somewhere down the road.

In response, Silver called the FCC’s blog post a “fig leaf attempting to cover for what appears to be secret negotiations to sell out the future of the Internet. It’s a preposterous assumption that inviting comments from the public carries the same weight as a face-to-face meeting with some of the most powerful industry leadership and lobbyists in Washington.”

Here’s the full text of today’s ad:






    FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s top deputies are meeting behind closed doors with industry lobbyists to cut a deal that would effectively hand over control of the Internet to Verizon, Comcast and AT&T.

    Government officials are catering to big business instead of protecting the American people — just like they did before the BP oil disaster and the financial crisis.
    This time, get ready for higher prices, fewer choices and an Internet with corporate gatekeepers picking winners and losers online.

    President Obama, you promised to take a “back seat to no one” in protecting Net Neutrality and free speech online.

    Don’t let our Internet go the way of Wall Street and the Gulf of Mexico.

    Insist that the Federal Communications Commission protect the future of communications in America.

    Stand up to Big Phone and Big Cable.

    Save the Internet.

If you’re as outraged as we are, tell President Obama and the FCC: no secret meetings on the future of the Internet.

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good