A coalition of tech companies including Amazon, Reddit, Vimeo and Kickstarter is mobilizing for a day of action to save net neutrality on July 12th. The efforts are also being supported by a number of nonprofits, including Greenpeace, MoveOn, the ACLU and Creative Commons.
“Net neutrality made it possible for Vimeo, along with countless other startups, to innovate and thrive,” said Vimeo General Counsel Michael Cheah in a statement. “Vimeo will proudly join our fellow tech brethren to rally Internet users nationwide to demand strong net neutrality rules to prevent ISPs from manipulating Internet traffic.”
The day of action is a response to the FCC’s plans to dismantle key net neutrality rules, including the classification of internet providers as common carriers, something that’s also known as “Title II.” Those rules, which were enacted by the FCC in 2015, essentially treat internet and wireless providers like public utilities, barring them from prioritizing any services on their networks.
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who succeeded his predecessor Tom Wheeler after the inauguration of Donald Trump, had long been a critic of Title II, and has vowed to repeal these rules. The FCC voted in May to officially begin repeal proceedings, and public comments on the matter are due by July 17.
Fight for the Future, the group organizing the day of action, wants to use the day to encourage internet users to chime in on the need for net neutrality. Participating internet companies will use their websites to encourage their visitors to chime in.
This isn’t the first time major tech companies have banded together like this. In 2012, a wide coalition of startups and big companies joined together for a protest day against SOPA, a controversial anti-piracy bill that eventually died in committee.