Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Is Winning Net Neutrality Enough to Save the Internet?

Originally published in the Seattle Times

Net neutrality advocates can add last week’s court decision to a recent string of victories on behalf of everyday internet users.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected the latest broadband-industry bid to kill the open internet — a legal challenge to the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 “net neutrality” decision. The FCC rules protect your right to connect with everyone else online without your cable or phone provider blocking websites or carving the internet into fast and slow lanes.

The ruling last year was itself a major victory — the product of 10 years of activism involving millions of Americans who lobbied their elected representatives and urged the agency to adopt online safeguards.

Net neutrality ensures that everyone can connect with any website or service of their choosing and create and share information without worrying that their access providers will shunt it to some obscure corner of the web. On Tuesday, judges affirmed this principle, and in so doing acknowledged that the open internet is an essential part of democratic life, one that must be protected in the public interest.

The court ruling is a huge deal — but it doesn’t mean the internet is safe from threats coming from powerful companies and elsewhere. Winning net neutrality is part of a broader effort to make sure the internet continues to promote opportunity and free expression for all...

... Read the full commentary in the Seattle Times

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