Pro-net neutrality groups hope SXSW visitors look at the sky today. If they do, they might see a big banner calling out Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) for fighting alongside cable companies against net neutrality. The 1,500-square-foot banner, which flew over Austin yesterday and will hit the skies once again today, reads, "Don't be an enemy of the internet, Sen. Ted Cruz."
The banner is being paid for by three pro-net neutrality groups, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, and Free Press through crowdfunding efforts. In a statement, David Segal of Demand Progress said, "Our banner is an internet-backed reminder to Cruz and all politicians that if you stand against net neutrality, you are standing against the Internet." He added, "We had to crowdfund this airplane flight, but if we could figure out how to harness all the hot air Ted Cruz has been blowing on net neutrality, we could get a blimp off the ground for free."
Cruz has long been an outspoken opponent of net neutrality, which guarantees that all internet traffic is treated equally. Last year, he appealed to his conservative partisans by calling net neutrality "Obamacare for the internet." The FCC backed net neutrality last month in a landmark vote, but Cruz sits on the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees the FCC. But if senators like Cruz can rally enough support, Congress could pass new regulations that prohibit the FCC from imposing such rules.