24 prominent social justice groups wrote to the United States Senate to highlight Supreme Court nominee Kavanugh’s disturbing take on the 1st Amendment as expressed in his dissent in USTA vs FCC, the case that upheld the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet ruling in all respects.
Kavanaugh pointed to the “free speech of companies” and asserted that broadband providers should have the liberty to “exercise editorial discretion about what content to carry or favor.” Continue reading 24 Social Justice Organizations Write That Kavanaugh Is A Threat to Net Neutrality
Net Freedom’s poll says that 58% of undecided voters in Republican-held swing districts say they are more likely to vote for an incumbent who takes immediate action to force a vote to overturn the FCC — while only 8% are less likely to support such an incumbent. Conversely, not supporting the CRA is a potential liability: If a Republican incumbent refuses to take immediate action to force a vote to overturn the FCC, 45% of undecided voters are less likely to vote for them.” Continue reading New Poll Shows Republican Swing District Voters Want Support For Net Neutrality CRA
by Chris Witteman and Tracy Rosenberg. Originally published in 48 Hills.
The last couple of weeks have not been good ones for those who see communications as a social justice issue.
The 2015 Open Internet Order, which ensured Internet neutrality and fairness, was finally stripped out of the law books per order of the Trump FCC, now run by a former lawyer for Verizon. San Francisco’s plan for a publicly-owned fiber broadband network was put on hold, and all indications are that Mayor Breed will likely bow to AT&T and Comcast by keeping it from resurfacing. And California’s own net neutrality bill, designed to reverse what Trump’s FCC had done, got ambushed by an upstart young Assemblymember. Continue reading Profiles in Corruption: How Telecoms Control the State Legislature
Months ago, watchers of California’s state legislature saw cause for worry in the co-introduction of two different statewide net neutrality bills to respond to the federal repeal of open Internet protections by Trump’s FCC chair Ajit Pai. Continue reading It’s Time To Get A Spine, Sir.
55 groups (including Media Alliance) sent an open letter to the Democratic members of Congress urging them all to get on board with the Congressional Resolution of Disapproval (CRA) against the December 2017 repeal of net neutrality and avoid trying to create regulatory legislation in an uncertain Congress.
The letter states: “Internet freedom activists, grassroots organizers, social justice advocates, labor unions, and progressive organizations like ours oppose Pai’s assault on our ability to communicate and connect. The internet has been a transformative tool for free speech and for organizing in furtherance of civil rights and social and economic justice. A free and open internet enables political dissidents and marginalized communities to make their voices heard on their own terms — without being stifled or warped by corporate gatekeepers such as broadband internet service providers (ISPs)”.2018-02-14_Progressive_Orgs_Support_CRA
As Washington and Oregon stamp and enact the country’s first statewide Net Neutrality laws, the battle in California, one of the biggest and most proposperous states and the Internet’s literal birthplace is just getting started.
A disheartening ruling under seal was issued by the Ninth Circuit of the Court of Appeals when they stifled First Amendment protections for people posting online anonymously.
The hush hush sealed case itself focuses on a government request to the employer review site GlassDoor for the names of their posters about their employer in a goverment contracting fraud case against that company.
GlassDoor, rightly, did not want to hand over user information to the government and saw the broader First Amendment implications of doing so.
The case revolved around the appropriate legal standard for waiving First Amendment protections. Sadly the court chose the weaker standard (known as Branzburg vs Hayes) and rejected without even reading them amicis filed by public interest groups including Media Alliance, Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), Electronic Frontier Foundation, Committee for Justice and Public Participation Project.
Here’s our rejection letter. Glassdoor amicus motion denied
Here’s a few blogs from our fellow amicis about why this horrible decision is so horibble.