The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
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Marsha Blackburn Isn't Fooling Anyone: Fake Net Neutrality Bill Would Cement New Gatekeeper Powers For Internet Providers

Advocates slam the misleading legislation for allowing ISPs to charge deep-pocketed firms expensive new “prioritization fees,” which would harm competition and free speech online.


Tennessee House representative Marsha Blackburn has just announced a new "Open Internet Preservation Act," which early reports suggest would not prevent Internet providers from engaging in "pay-to-play" paid prioritization schemes. The legislation comes on the heels of the Federal Communications Commission's resoundingly unpopular December 14th decision to repeal common sense consumer protections, and is being slammed by net neutrality advocates.

Responding to Rep. Blackburn's announcement, Fight for the Future Campaigns Director Evan Greer (pronouns she / hers) had this to say:

"Marsha Blackburn is not fooling anyone. She's so desperately out of touch with how the Internet works that it would be funny if she wasn't in a position of power.

This is not real net neutrality legislation. It's a poorly disguised slap in the face to Internet users from across the political spectrum. Blackburn's bill would explicitly allow Internet providers to demand new fees from small businesses and Internet users, carving up the web into fast lanes and slow lanes. Changing the fundamental structure of the Internet in this way would be devastating for innovation, creativity, and free expression online."

"Marsha Blackburn is the poster child for telecom funded corruption in Congress. Over her career she has raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from big ISPs. The last time her party followed her lead and voted to gut Internet privacy rules, they invoked the wrath of the Internet and sparked massive bipartisan backlash.

If the rest of Blackburn's party doesn't want to get dragged down with her, they need to oppose this blatantly bogus legislation and use their Congressional Review Act powers to reverse the FCC's net neutrality repeal in its entirety. If they don't they'll pay the price come election time."

Fight for the Future is a group of artists, engineers, activists, and technologists who have been behind the largest online protests in human history, channeling Internet outrage into political power to win public interest victories previously thought to be impossible. We fight for a future where technology liberates -- not oppresses -- us.

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