Quoted: on today’s Internet Slowdown protest

“Openness is at stake if the FCC allows broadband behemoths to play traffic cop, discriminating against some, while letting those who can afford to sail on by.”

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., on why he has joined today’s Internet Slowdown protest. We wrote yesterday that today’s action — whose participants include Netflix, Reddit, Etsy and others — aims to increase awareness about the FCC’s proposed net neutrality plan, which would effectively codify the creation of fast and slow lanes on the Internet. Protesters are urging Internet users to contact lawmakers and the Obama administration, as well as the FCC, which is taking comments (in addition to the more than 1 million it already has) until Sept. 15.

The protesters are putting “loading” signs on their websites to signify slow lanes, but they’re not actually slowing down their sites. Some are saying the symbolic action is not enough.

“Perhaps it’ll take more than entreaties to Capitol Hill to encourage the FCC to rule in favor of open internet access… Perhaps what it’ll take is to give them a taste of the slowed-down medicine they want the rest of us to swallow,” writes Dan Gillmor for the Guardian.

“Or, better yet, how about going dark entirely?” writes Mike Wehner for the Daily Dot. (There’s precedent for that; an Internet blackout day in 2012 with thousands of participating websites helped kill SOPA and PIPA, anti-piracy legislation that could have led to online censorship and more.)


Photo from Battle for the Net website


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