You know the net neutrality conversation is breaking new ground when even the porn sites are weighing in. And that's just what we're seeing: Major adult platforms Pornhub and Redtube are joining an online protest on September 10, calling for stronger protections for net neutrality. They're teaming up with dozens of digital rights organizations, including EFF, Demand Progress, and Fight for the Future, as well as other Internet companies like Etsy, reddit and Mozilla, in a digital day of action designed to bring the net neutrality debate to hundreds of thousands of Internet users worldwide.
Net neutrality - the idea that Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all data that travels over their networks equally - got major attention this Spring when the FCC released proposed regulatory guidelines that left Internet users and companies alike deeply concerned. The proposal included new language giving ISPs leeway to create a "fast lane" for certain websites (i.e. websites with deep pockets that were willing to shell out more money for faster access to users).
But you can't have a fast lane without also having a slower lane. And that means everyday websites - including journalistic websites and start-up companies that could compete with established web services - could be slow to load, even as our expectations for loading speed leap ahead in the coming years.
That's why the protest on September 10 will showcase a slow-lane Internet, by putting graphics of "page loading" warnings on participating sites. (Don't worry - Pornhub promises it won't actually load pages more slowly.)
For months, the FCC has been collecting comments from the public about its proposed net neutrality guidelines, and hundreds of thousands of people have already spoken out. But we're fast approaching the deadline for public engagement through the rulemaking process: September 15 is the end of the public comment period.
That's why the day of action on September 10 is so important - it's our last big push to get the general public to speak out about net neutrality before the deadline.
We've already made a huge impact. The Sunlight Foundation recently analyzed over 800,000 comments submitted to the FCC about net neutrality - and found that more than 99% of them supported stronger protections for neutrality. The September 10 day of action will help rally people from across the web to speak out, and help create such a ruckus that the FCC cannot ignore our call to amend its proposed rules - and force Congress to take note as well.
How You Can Join
On September 10, we'll have a custom banner on EFF's website.
It'll look like this, and link to our site where you can submit comments to the FCC:
If you run a website, embed the code here to show your support:
Another great way to spread the word is through social media. Please consider tweeting and posting about net neutrality both in the lead up to September 10 and on the day of action.
Want to read more about this issue? We've got a ton of blog posts that can help get you up to speed.
Deep Dive: In Defense of A Neutral Net
The FCC and Net Neutrality: A Way Forward
What on Earth is Going on at the FCC? A Guide to the Proposed Net Neutrality Rules