Net neutrality — a win, for now
volume 36
issue 2
April 2015

Millions of activists mobilized in the latest victory for the battle to keep the Internet accessible. In February, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) upheld net neutrality — the idea that everyone on the Internet should be treated equally. Yay!

This important ruling says broadband providers can’t block lawful content, slow down specific applications or accept payment for dispensing favored treatment. It’s a solid decision, but not the be-all and end-all some had hoped for. Many questions were left unanswered, to be decided later on a case-by-case basis.

The right-wing response was immediate. The misnamed “Internet Freedom Act,” if passed, would completely undermine the FCC’s ruling. Another threat is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This secret trade deal includes provisions to require service providers to police user activity and take down content, along with a host of other horrors.

It took a groundswell of public support to keep the Internet open. Many political campaigns and alternative viewpoints — from Black Lives Matter to the Freedom Socialist Party’s www.socialism.com — have been able to spread because of the net. So let’s raise a toast for this win — and be ready to defend and extend it.

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