‘Imminent Threat to the Internet’: Tech Pioneers Speak Out Against Repeal of Net Neutrality
Over 20 of the most influential minds in technology have joined together to urge Ajit Pai and the Federal Communications Commission to stop the repeal of net neutrality.
“Father of the internet” Vint Cerf was joined by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Tim Berners-Lee — credited with the creation of the “world wide web” — and many others to protest the repeal of net neutrality. In an open letter to lawmakers involved with the FCC, the group said that the “rushed and technically incorrect” repeal, called “Restoring Internet Freedom,” is “based on a flawed and factually inaccurate” understanding of the internet itself and represents “an imminent threat to the internet we worked so hard to create.”
The Restoring Internet Freedom order would dismantle the 2015 net neutrality rules introduced to prevent Internet service providers from slowing down or outright blocking content. These protections keep companies like AT&T and Verizon from, for example, potentially blocking users from getting news from sites like Breitbart.
Thus far, popular outcry has not been enough to make a difference in the plan to remove net neutrality rules. Despite 98.5% of the 22 million comments posted to the FCC and polls showing a majority across party lines against the repeal, as well as a 43-page explanation of the FCC’s misapprehensions about Internet regulation by more than 200 tech leaders, Cerf and his peers say that the FCC “did not correct its misunderstandings.”
Those speaking out implore the FCC to delay their final vote on the issue until they have fully examined the ramifications, identified the problems that could arise, and perhaps found an alternative way to protect the basic principles of online freedom of speech and an Internet that isn’t curated by an ISP’s wallet.
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