December 14, 2017

Once More Unto the Breach Dear Friends

Once more, for the internet

by Chris Thomas

Photo by Zoltan Tasi

So the FCC has officially rolled back the Title II protections that safeguarded Net Neutrality. Breathe. It’s gonna be ok. Don’t panic. Here’s what happens next and what you can do about it.

The Courts

A bunch of states are already going to bat for your rights in court.

If you don’t see your home on that list there’s still something you can do. Fire up Resistbot and say governor. Spend a few of your remaining moments on a neutral internet tapping out a plea to your state’s governor asking him/her to direct his/her attorney general to join the fight by suing the FCC.

The Congressional Review Act

Senator Edward J Markey (D-Mass) has introduced a challenge to the FCC’s decision via the Congressional Review Act (CRA). CRA resolutions can’t be filibustered and it only takes 30 Senators to force the measure to the floor for a vote. While the measure is a long shot, it can at least force all 100 Senators to go on the record as supporting or opposing the FCC’s move. Should the CRA challenge pass the Senate it would likewise have to clear the House and a Presidential veto to become law.

That said, while the FCC is an unaccountable regulatory body that does not have to answer to voters, the House and Senate are accountable and, according to a poll by the University of Maryland, a staggering 83% of voters support Net Neutrality.

The following Senators have voiced their support for Markey’s CRA challenge.

  • Ron Wyden, D-Oregon
  • Maria Cantwell, D-Washington
  • Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii
  • Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut
  • Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island
  • Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon
  • Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York
  • Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin
  • Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico
  • Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire
  • Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota
  • Gary Peters, D-Michigan
  • Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan
  • Patrick Leahy D-Vermont
  • Bernie Sanders I-Vermont

If your Senator is not on the list, fire up Resistbot and say Senate to tell your Senator to support Senator Markey’s CRA challenge. While you’re at it, tell Resistbot House if your Representative is not Mike Doyle (D-PA) or Richard Neal (D-MA). They are the only House members to voice support for a CRA challenge so far.

The Long Game

If you’ve taken care of those things, great. Now for the long game because none of this is over until it’s over and it’s going to be a long fight. First, you may as well round out writing your government by tossing President Trump a line. You can tell Resistbot president and fire off a letter to him.

Second, keep this issue in the spotlight by writing your government about it frequently and by engaging candidates on it in 2018. Resistbot can help you remember to write if you tell it reminders and it will help you make a plan to vote next year when the entire House and 1/3rd of the Senate comes up for election.

Third and finally, remember that there are organizations out there to carry this torch forward for you. Consider donating to the Electronic Frontier Foundation or the ACLU. Both will be instrumental in the fight to preserve a neutral internet.

Tell Congress what you think!

Net Neutrality is the critical First Amendment issue of the 21st century. Text RESIST to 50409 to tell your representatives or Senators what you think about this or any other issue before Congress. If you’d rather use Facebook Messenger, click here and say RESIST to contact your government. Finally, check here to find protests in support of Net Neutrality you can join.

More on Net Neutrality

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