‘Don’t kill the Internet,’ protesters urge Obama in Los Altos

From the SFGate Tech Chronicles:

While President Obama was raising hundreds of thousands of dollars at two Bay Area fundraisers Wednesdays, protesters urged him to keep a promise he made to ensure that the Internet remains a level playing field.

Back in 2007, then-candidate Obama said during a campaign stop at Google that as president he would “take a backseat to no one” in terms of his commitment to preserving net neutrality.

But Obama’s appointments to the Federal Communications Commission don’t back up that commitment. In May, three Democrats he appointed to the agency voted to allow broadband carriers to provide an online “fast lane” for those who want to pay for the privilege — thus creating a two-tiered Internet.

As former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, another Democrat, told us, Obama “seems to be in the back seat now. He may be in the rumble seat of the old Model-T. I don’t know where he is.”

Near the intersection of Page Mill and Arastradero Roads in Los Altos, more than 100 protesters agreed. They waved signs saying, “Don’t kill the Internet” and held a brief rally where Color of Change founder James Rucker, Common Cause’s Hellen Grieco and Electronic Frontier Foundation intellectual property director Corynne McSherry spoke.

Obama “has abdicated his responsibility on this issue, sitting on the sidelines,” said MoveOn.org organizer Victoria Kaplan. She urged Obama to use the bully pulpit of the presidency to advocate for net neutrality.

Originally posted at SFGate