Common Cause and 170 Allies Call on FCC and Congress to Protect and Enforce Strong Net Neutrality Rules and Secure the Open Internet

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  • David Vance
There can be no compromising online free speech protections, says former FCC Commissioner and Common Cause Special Adviser Michael Copps

On the eve of the Senate Commerce Committee’s first Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Oversight Hearing of 2017, Common Cause and 170 allied public interest organizations sent a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune and Ranking Member Bill Nelson calling for the protection of the free and open internet. The letter urges these leaders to support and continue to enforce the 2015 Open Internet Order and to oppose legislative and regulatory actions that would threaten the strong net neutrality rules already in place.

“As millions of Americans have made clear in their comments to Congress and the FCC, there can be no compromising online free speech. It’s what 21st century democracy requires,” said former FCC Commissioner and Common Cause Special Adviser Michael Copps. “Washington politicians that cozy up with Big Cable and Big Telecom to weaken net neutrality will be in for a rude awakening,” he added.

“Protecting net neutrality is crucial to ensuring that the internet remains a central driver of economic growth and opportunity, job creation, education, free expression, and civic organizing for everyone,” the letter reads. “The continuation of net neutrality is essential to the continued growth of the country and to ensuring access to social, political, and economic empowerment for all.”

The 171 signers include a diverse group of consumer protection, media rights, technology, library, arts, content creators, civil liberties, and civil rights advocates concerned with protecting the principles of net neutrality, which have made the internet the engine of opportunity and free speech it is today.

Just over two years ago, the FCC passed the Open Internet Order to enshrine the strongest net neutrality protections ever, ensuring that voters can study the issues of the day, share their opinions online, and organize for change on digital platforms without internet service provider interference.

To read the full letter, click here.