The last-ditch effort probably won’t save net neutrality from being demolished. But at least it will raise awareness of the issue among midterm voters.
Net neutrality hasn’t technically been erased in the U.S. But it’s basically down to procedural details at this point.
All of which makes the ‘Red Alert for Net Neutrality’ campaign a long-shot prayer to save previous net neutrality statutes. But it’s an effort that further demonstrates the absolute outrage that many feel over the FCC’s relatively closed-door vote to repeal net neutrality.
Since the FCC’s 3-2 decision to rollback net neutrality, opponents in Congress have tried to thwart the inevitable. Accordingly, they’re attempting to force a challenge of the rollback with a Congressional Review Act, or CRA. That vote is happening May 9th, though it’s likely to only create a speed bump for net neutrality’s repeal.
“Once the CRA is discharged, the Senate is likely to vote on the resolution within a matter of days,” emailed Evan Greer of Fight for the Future, a group fighting to save net neutrality in America. “The protest was just announced this morning, but already Etsy, Tumblr, Foursquare, and other popular sites have announced they plan to participate.”
Tumblr, Etsy, Postmates, and Foursquare are hoping to draw even larger sites and platforms into the cause.
Thousands of other sites are also jumping on board, and all will be posting giant ‘Red Alert’ pop-ups (see above). Other potential big-name participants include Amazon, Reddit, Facebook, Google, and Twitter. Those mega-sites participated in net neutrality protests in July, but that was before the FCC had voted on the matter.
Essentially, if enough Senators and Representatives agree to a review, the repeal would be delayed.
But even if both chambers agree to a formal review, President Trump will probably strike the review down. Of course, there’s a chance he’d change his mind (it’s happened before). Either way, the symbolic effect would be strong, and would signal a broader fear among legislators that net neutrality is a bigger campaign issue than they imagined.
Most importantly, a formal CRA would force Senators and Representatives to pick a side — and potentially become vulnerable in midterm elections. Already, we’re witnessing one anti-neutrality GOP candidate getting affected in the polls, despite otherwise strong support in a solidly Red State.
The Red Alert protest, coordinated by BattlefortheNet.com, is designed to stir some problems for anti-neutrality candidates. Accordingly, readers will be asked to send protests to their local representatives on the Hill through simple online forms. The hope is that another avalanche of protest is registered, and properly factored into midterm election platforms.
BattlefortheNet even lists every member of Congress, including how they’ve voted on telecommunications and net neutrality legislation in the past. It also tracks how many calls every representative has received, with the hopes of flipping some pro-cable legislators.
“We will finally force lawmakers to let us know if they stand with the 85% of Americans who support net neutrality – or with the cable companies that want to manipulate the internet in service of greater profits,” said David Segal, Executive Director of Demand Progress. “The people are on our side – and if they make their voices heard over coming weeks, we will push this resolution through the Senate and House.”
Here’s a lot more information on the Red Alert campaign.