Activists gather at University Verizon to protest net neutrality rollback

Activists gather at University Verizon to protest net neutrality rollback

Activists gather at University Verizon to protest net neutrality rollback

The FCC's move to repeal net neutrality regulations, which stop telecommunications companies from blocking, throttling, or charging for access to websites of their discretion, is just one more step in the direction of corporate control over our every-day lives.

Slim as their prospects may be, pro-regulation activists are turning to a bitterly divided Congress, pressuring politicians to intervene and prevent the FCC vote.

"The existing situation is good", said Wendi A. Haugh, associate professor of anthropology at St. Lawrence University, who was one of the protest organizers. These net neutrality rules were passed in 2015, and have broad support from groups ranging from civil liberty organizations to internet giants like Google. "Net Neutrality is essential to our democracy".

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Protesters hope to generate awareness about what, they call, severe repercussions of rollbacks regarding Net neutrality. Two employees, one in an Android mascot costume, even stood near protesters for a while, waving at cars. Critics also say doing away with net neutrality would allow providers to censor content, prioritize its own content or block the content of a competitor.

Congressman Doug LaMalfa said in a letter to constituents, "Rather than focusing government resources on burdensome regulation, we should be redirecting our focus on improving affordable internet access, especially in high-cost rural areas". Having disliked the regulations since he was in the political minority on the commission, the Trump-appointed chairman Ajit Pai now has a 3:2 Republican majority to abolish them, which he plans to do at a commission meeting on December 14.

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