Thursday, May 10, 2018

Several popular websites and US Senators are making a last-ditch effort to save net neutrality

There's strength in numbers, but supporters may not have enough them to overturn the FCC's decision.

Don't be surprised if, during your travels on the web today, you are greeted by a "Red Alert" in support of net neutrality. It's because a whole bunch of popular websites are trying to drum up support for a push in Congress to force a vote on the FCC's removal of net neutrality rules.
Led by FCC chairman Ajit Pai, the FCC previously voted 3-2 to remove net neutrality rules that were put in place under the previous administration. That decision was published in the Federal Register on February 22. The Senate has 60 days from that date to overturn the decision, per the Congressional Review act.
According to Engadget, Senate Democrats had enough signatures to call for a vote, but are one Senator shy of being able to actually overturn the decision. BattleForTheNet.com launched the Red Alert campaign in hopes of putting pressure on other Senators to join the cause.
The list of websites participating in the protest include some of the web's most popular destinations, including Reddit, Tinder, Tumblr, Etsy, Pornhub, OK Cupid, GitHub, Wikimedia, and whole bunch more.
"The Internet is lighting up in protest once again, because this Senate vote will impact the future of the Web for years to come," said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, "This is the most important moment in tech policy since the FCC repeal, and everyone should be paying attention. This is the moment for entire web to come together to fight. Net neutrality is not a partisan issue outside of Washington, DC. Now we need to get DC to catch up with the rest of the country."
Even if the effort is successful, however, there remains an uphill battle. Should the Senate vote in favor of overturning the FCC's decision, it would then advance to the House of Representatives for another vote. There it would need a simple majority. Senator Ed Markey said there are already 160 Representatives who support the measure, but it would take 218 votes to pass. That seems unlikely, but even if it did happen, President Donald Trump could veto the measure.

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