Action #1 – Finish it off, CA Senators! This is the “gold standard”.
SB 822, CA’s net neutrality bill that establishes net neutrality rules even stronger than those rejected by the White House, is almost at the finish line. By a bipartisan vote of 60-18, the bill passed the Assembly and it now goes back to the Senate for its final reconcilation vote. ISPs like AT&T and Comcast poured millions of dollars, doubt and discord into the legislature and scared senior citizens with misleading robocalls, resulting in the bill almost being gutted in June.
Calls in support of the legislation intensified last week after reports that Santa Clara County firefighters were hindered by Verizon’s deliberate throttling of internet service as they helped battle the massive Mendocino Complex fire in July. Although the company said that this issue is not related to net neutrality, county counsel James Williams said ““Verizon’s throttling has everything to do with net neutrality — it shows that the ISPs will act in their economic interests, even at the expense of public safety,” said county counsel James Williams.”
This issue, along with our phone calls and strong leadership by State Senator Scott Weiner, kept this mission on target.
Minimal script to your state senator: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Sen. [___] to push SB 822 onto Governor Brown’s desk and watch him sign it.
State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (SD-19): SAC (916) 651-4019, SB (805) 965-0862, OX (805)988-1940 http://sd19.senate.ca.gov/send-e-mail
Not your people?:findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov.
Action #2 – The ISP’s aren’t going quietly. Stop their end run through the FTC.
When FCC chairman Ajit Pai repealed net neutrality rules earlier this year, he promised that fair access to the Internet would instead be protected by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Even the FTC doesn’t think that’s going to work out well .So here is what ISP lobbyists are working on now.
1. They want the FTC to issue new rules that would prevent states from passing their own net neutrality laws! This could happen!
2. The market is so competitive, they should be excused from regulation.
USTelecom has told the FTC that in order to keep the broadband market “vibrant and competitive,” “America’s world-leading Internet growth [should] not be stifled by unnecessary and overly burdensome regulation.”
3. They should be publicly supported like utilities, but without utility-style regulations. USTelecom (includes At&T, Verizon and CenturyLink) argued that broadband providers were like utilities and should therefore be subsidized by the government.
So, they want the right to overcharge and abuse us, AND use our taxpayer money to do it. Hilarious!
Make a comment to the FTC here. You can read other people’s comments there too. Deadline October 14th, 2018!
More reading here:
- Don’t rely on us to protect the open internet, warns FTC Commissioner (The register)
- The FCC plans to kill the open internet; don’t count on the FTC to save it (quartz)
- FTC on Net neutrality: “We are being set up to fail” by Ajit Pai and FCC (wccftech.com)
- AT&T ends quest to erode FTC authority over froadband providers (tech dirt)
- Comcast is trying to ban states from protecting broadband and &TV consumers (tech dirt)
Action #3 – Help Pro Publica track false Facebook ads.
Negative, misleading, inflammatory and often false Facebook ads, microtargeted to specific demographic groups helped sway the 2016 election. Because the audiences for these ads were so small, and the ads only lasted for a few hours, it was extremely difficult to find out about the false claims and effectively refute them. So, future elections, Pro Publica has come up with a project to track political ads on Facebook, so that we can begin to address and fight the onslaught of misinformation directed at voters. The project collected data on targeted political advertising on Facebook by creating a browser plugin that allows Facebook users to automatically send in the ads that are displayed in their News Feeds, along with their targeting information.