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America's Progressive Community

For further information or to comment on this press release, please contact the organization directly.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 9, 2010
2:27 PM

CONTACT: Free Press

Liz Rose, Communications Director, 202-265-1490 x 32;
Jenn Ettinger, Media Coordinator, 202-265-1490 x 35

300,000 Call on Google: Don’t Sell Out the Open Internet

Public Interest Groups Deliver Boxes of Petition Signatures to Google’s DC Office

Momentum for Net Neutrality Builds As Public Outcry Grows Against Google-Verizon Deal

WASHINGTON - August 9 - Free Press, MoveOn.org Civic Action, CREDO Action, the Progressive Campaign Change Committee and ColorofChange.org today delivered petitions on behalf of more than 300,000 people challenging Google to stand by its "don't be evil" motto and to call off a deal with Verizon that would jeopardize the future of the open Internet.

"Google's self-proclaimed motto is ‘don't be evil,' but Google is about to cut a deal with Verizon that would end the Internet as we know it," said Becky Bond, political director of CREDO Action. "Google's corporate leadership needs to listen to its users and return to its roots as a strong defender of Net Neutrality."

"Google has always presented itself as a different kind of corporate entity," added Justin Ruben, executive director of MoveOn.org. "The fact that they are involved in a deal that would kill Internet freedom directly contradicts this image. We hope that Google will reconsider before they are seen as just another giant corporation out to make a buck regardless of the consequence."

The massive public outcry came in response to news last week that Verizon and Google had struck a deal that would allow Internet service providers to charge for content carried over their networks. The deal, which is expected to be formally announced as soon as today, also reportedly would encourage discrimination on wireless networks and leave the Federal Communications Commission powerless to protect Internet users.

"It shouldn't be left to the whims of two companies to decide for the rest of us how the Internet works," said Josh Silver, president of Free Press. "We've seen the disasters that can happen when industry giants are left to regulate themselves. Unless we want to see the Internet go the way of the Gulf of Mexico and AIG, our leaders in Washington need to reject the Google-Verizon deal and get back to making policies that truly protect Internet users and the open Internet."

Today, the groups delivered the petitions - which have poured in since last Thursday - directly to Google's offices in Washington, D.C.

"Within days, over 300,000 people have said no to any deal between Google and Verizon that would destroy the free and open Internet," said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. "The future of free speech and economic innovation is at stake and thousands of Progressive Change Campaign Committee members are proud to add our names to this important fight."

The groups will be calling on the FCC, Congress and the White House to safeguard Net Neutrality and establish lasting protections for free speech online. "An open Internet, free from corporate gatekeepers, is critical for the survival of our community's political voice," said James Rucker, executive director of ColorofChange.org. "Neither Google, nor Verizon, nor any corporation should be allowed to restructure the Internet just for purposes of profit. And this is why the ColorOfChange.org community continues to call for the FCC to protect the open Internet."

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Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net



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