Tech companies plan virtual protest to protect net neutrality

Trump's 'war on the open internet': tech firms join activists in day of protest

Internet Day of Action: Why net neutrality must survive (and what you can do to help)

The protest comes as Democratic lawmakers bring renewed focus on the issue. Replies to those comments are due by August 16, after which the FCC will make a final decision. Supporters of the current rules face an uphill fight.

The FCC is accepting public comment for a few more weeks. In May, televised commentary from comedian John Oliver sparked a surge of comments to the FCC.

But Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page will not be marching outside FCC headquarters with protest signs. The goal was to make sure those service providers couldn't favor some websites or block or slow down others.

The Federal Communications Commission wants to undo regulations passed in 2015 that require internet service providers to treat all online content the same. The company's co-founder and CEO showed NBC Bay Area the Hotspot Shield, a download that will keep your surfing habits away from your internet service providers, so they can't slow down your progress, which is the worry companies have about net neutrality going away.

Laptop Mag editor Paul Wagenseil explained net neutrality: "The idea is that every packet on the internet, every piece of data is treated equally by the internet service providers, like Time Warner/Spectrum of Comcast or whoever you have handling your home or business data connection". Before Net Neutrality, AT&T muted portions of a Pearl Jam concert because of songs the band wrote against then-President George W Bush.

Among the almost 70,000 people, sites, and organizations that have signed on to the effort are online music service Spotify, crafts website Etsy, and IAC/InterActiveCorp's video-sharing site Vimeo, according to Greer.

If you've been on Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix or Etsy today, you might have seen something about net neutrality. Amazon.com Inc.is taking part, according to protest organizers.

We can only hope that power of protest is effective in keeping the internet free and open, particularly as society continues to move in a direction in which the internet is one of our most valuable resources.

An online protest in 2012 was credited with helping persuade Congress to abandon legislation backed by movie studios to combat online piracy.

The US communications regulator earlier this year voted to remove an Obama-era rule that would prevent the prioritisation - or "throttling" - of data, as well as other measures campaigners consider to be detrimental to the internet.

Still, Democratic representatives are agitating against the change. For the FCC, Thompson said one reason the agency wants to roll back the net neutrality rules is because "they're very close to the telecom companies". "That's a threat to destroy the internet as we know it", Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said in a press conference decrying the proposed changes on Wednesday.

More than 800 startups, investors and other people and organizations sent a letter to Pai stating that "without net neutrality the incumbents who provide access to the internet would be able to pick winners or losers in the market". Moreover, FCC spokespeople have said that the process isn't concerned with the amount of support a viewpoint gets so much as the quality of legal arguments lodged in the official record.

The TechCrunch blog's landing page featured the Marxist clenched-fists held high to symbolize the workers of the world uniting to storm the ramparts of the FCC and throttling revisionist Republican Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioner Michael O'Riellyin their efforts to roll-back the 400-page Net Neutrality broadband Internet regulations and taxes approved by a Democrat-majority FCC in February 2016.

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