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Net neutrality petition gets a million signatures

Net neutrality petition gets a million signatures

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The advocacy group Free Press, along with a broad coalition of organizations, has delivered the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) a petition with a million signatures asking to restore the federal protections for net neutrality that were struck down in court two weeks ago.

The petition shows there is public support for net neutrality, the principle that all internet traffic should be treated equally. Providers should not be allowed to, say, charge different prices for using the internet to access different services, because it would restrict the way people use the internet to the benefit of corporations.

More than 85 organizations have joined the effort

"We’re calling on the FCC to reclassify broadband connections as 'telecommunications services,' a simple move that would allow it to pass robust net neutrality rules that would actually hold up in court," Free Press says. "Without net neutrality, the internet as we know it could be a relic of the past."

More than 85 organizations have joined the Free Press campaign, including Reddit, the American Civil Liberties Union, MoveOn, the Sierra Club, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

It's widely assumed that net neutrality is an issue for tech geeks and policy wonks, but collecting a million signatures in two weeks is no joke. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler responded positively to the mounting public pressure, saying the FCC will take up the issue again. "A million people? That's boffo," the chairman said in a press briefing. The chairman has made very measured remarks in the past, however, making it difficult to predict where the FCC will fall on the issue.