Unlikely Voter

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Here are the Big Corporate Wallets Behind Wednesday’s Net Neutrality Red Alert

Al Franken (D-Minnesota) in the United States Senate (John Taylor/Flickr)

On Wednesday, many websites are going to host a mailing list building form from a little known advocacy group. Here’s what you need to know about their Net Neutrality campaign.

The truth of the matter is, the regulatory and legal fight over “Net Neutrality” is a done deal. In March, Ajit Pai and the FCC voted to repeal the unprecedented power grab over the Internet, which the Barack Obama-era FCC placed under the same expansive regulations as phones and telegraphs.

In April that repeal, known as the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, took effect. It was published in the Federal Register and became the law of the land. The Internet hasn’t died. Life went on. Senate Democrats have pledged to invoke the Congressional Review Act to reverse the repeal, but it’s unlikely to get anywhere.

So what is there left to do? Raise money and build a larger mailing list. That’s what Fight for the Future is doing on Wednesday, May 9 with their “Red Alert” campaign. This nexus of two non-profits is funded by such groups as:

  • Open Society Foundations (George Soros)
  • Media Democracy Fund (Microsoft, tumblr)
  • Wallace Global Fund (Henry Wallace estate)
  • CREDO (a mobile wireless provider)
  • DuckDuckGo (a web search provider)
  • Yelp (a web business review provider)
  • NameCheap (a domain name registrar)
  • Psychics4Today (an online psychic review service)
  • …And a host of Bitcoin- and VPN-related companies

So it’s a weird mix of absolute cranks, weirdos, and huge corporate wallets funding this. And let’s be honest: Soros and Yelp are probably putting in much more money than Psychics4Today, so this is really a campaign financed by monied special interests.

They have no concrete plan for changing the law. The state efforts toward “Net Neutrality” have absolutely nothing to do with the regulations that the FCC repealed this year, and the federal re-repeal has no chance of passing. The entire thing is a scam to get names, email addresses, and donations.

But watch for the moral preening as people who have no idea what’s going on, assure you they’re going to Save the Internet.


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