5 Net Neutrality Petitions To Sign If You Want Congress To Keep The Free & Open Internet Alive
On Wednesday, May 16, the United States Senate will vote on whether or not to repeal net neutrality rule changes implemented by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Back in April, the FCC ordered an end to Obama-era net neutrality protections, causing many to fear that the internet will become less equally accessible. If you wish to encourage Congress to supersede the FCC's decision and maintain net neutrality protections, there are still many net neutrality petitions you can sign.
According to WIRED, net neutrality is the notion that internet services providers should treat all content equally. Without net neutrality, many fear that internet companies could provide access to content based on preferences, business partnerships, and/or profits. For example, if an internet service provider has a partnership with a certain video streaming service, it could increase internet speeds for this service while drastically slowing speeds for others. Moreover, consumers could potentially be forced to pay more if they wish to access certain websites, among other implications.
According to CNN, the net neutrality vote is expected to narrowly pass the Senate. However, it faces an uphill battle in the House of Representatives. Thus, if maintaining net neutrality protections is something that you believe is important, there is certainly still time to take a stand and seek to encourage members of Congress to vote to keep these protections. You can start by signing some of the petitions listed below.
Change.org is sponsoring a net neutrality petition that has almost 2.5 million signatures thus far. In describing why it is sponsoring the petition, the organization wrote,
At Change.org, we believe that people everywhere should have the tools they need to make their voices heard ... A closed off Internet means fewer ways for millions of people to make the change they want to see ... Without an internet equally accessible to everyone regardless of income or geography, we can’t continue that mission.
Battle For The Net
In lieu of a standard petition, Battle for the Net is asking people to sign a digital, pre-written letter to members of Congress, asking them to vote to save net neutrality.
Fight For The Future
Fight for the Future is a non-profit dedicated to harnessing the internet's positive potential. You can sign its net neutrality petition here.
This petition, sponsored by a variety of progressive organizations, calls on Congress to preserve net neutrality, saying that doing so "ensure[s] that the internet continues to enable speech, commerce, and democracy."
CREDO Action is the advocacy arm of CREDO, a social change organization. CREDO Action is sponsoring a net neutrality petition that currently has around 130,000 signatures. While the petition was initially created ahead of the FCC's decision to roll back protections, signing it still likely carries weight, as it includes a message to Congress to "Oppose any actions that would threaten net neutrality and roll back the important protections put in place by the FCC in 2015."
In addition to signing the above-described petitions, there are also several other ways you can make your voice heard when it comes to showing your support for preserving net neutrality. Battle for the Net has identified net neutrality protests you can join if you wish to show your activism in-person ahead of Wednesday's vote. The organization also encourages people to organize their own protests.
Moreover, Battle for the Net has provided a helpful list of Senators who do and do not support Wednesday's vote on whether to preserve net neutrality. It suggests contacting your Senators regardless of their stance, either to thank them for their support or to encourage them to vote to overturn the FCC's ruling. You tweet at your Senators or contact them via telephone directly through Battle for the Net's website.
Overall, there are certainly still many steps you can take if you want to make your voice heard ahead of Wednesday's vote on net neutrality. If Congress does not vote to reinstate net neutrality, it is set to expire on June 10.