If you’ve been on the internet at all today, you might have noticed a variety of websites, services and companies actively protesting the FCC’s rollback of net neutrality regulations. This is the “Day of Action,” and it’s bringing together the normally fragmented internet and technology spheres.
The Day of Action was launched and mobilized by a group of 40 technology companies, among them tech giants like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Snap, Spotify and Twitter. Some popular internet services and sites, like Reddit, Kickstarter and Netflix, are calling attention to the matter with banners and pop-ups. Other advocacy organizations, such as Fight for the Future, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, have also marked July 12 as an important day in the “Battle for the Net.”
Some notable examples of today’s net neutrality activism include a petition started by Change.org, a site that usually shies away from holding its positions on matters. Additionally, the literal founder and inventor of the Web, Tim-Berners Lee, released a video defending current FCC regulations. “If we lost net neutrality, we lose the internet as we know it,” he said in the clip. Apple, on the other hand, has been notably quiet on the net neutrality issue — although CEO Tim Cook has spoken in favor of net neutrality on multiple occasions, Wired reported.
Current, Obama-era net neutrality regulations are opposed by the Trump-appointed chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, as well as most major internet service providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. The telecom industry as a whole has largely been dismissive of net neutrality activism, and it holds considerable lobbying power in Washington. Interestingly, ISPs are actually uniting today to call on Congress to take action, though that’s probably because their lobbyists will largely be responsible for writing the regulations in their favor, according to The Verge.