By Megan Tady
Last week, outraged bloggers and the public flogged the Federal Communications Commission after The Wall Street Journalreported that the agency had held “closed-door meetings” with industry executives to broker a deal on Net Neutrality.
The FCC’s actions indicated that large corporations would have their say about Net Neutrality while consumers and the public interest community would be ignored. Net Neutrality is the principle that protects free speech online, and prevents Internet service providers like Comcast and AT&T from blocking or controlling Internet traffic.
In case you missed it, here’s a recap of the backlash the meeting generated among bloggers and public interest groups:
The Fate of the Internet. Decided in a Back Room
Tim Karr, SavetheInternet.com
FCC in the Backroom with AT&T
Joan McCarter, DailyKos
Back Room Net Neutrality Deal? Reform Groups Up in Arms
Matthew Lasar, Ars Technica
FCC Takes the Heat for Meeting with Big Business in Private to Decide the Fate of the Internet
Jason Rosenbaum, FireDogLake
FCC Takes Beating Over Closed Door Net Neutrality Meeting
FCC Blasted Again Over Closed-Door Internet Meetings
FCC Meets in Closed Door Session with Telecom Lobbyists
Free Press also responded with a full-page ad in the Washington Post last week criticizing the FCC for holding secret meetings with industry giants.
If the closed-door meetings at the FCC leave you feeling a little uneasy about the future of the Internet, you are not alone. The public doesn’t want Internet policy to be dictated by industry lobbyists. You can take action to demand that President Obama’s FCC includes the public in policymaking and the process is transparent. We must continue to generate momentum so that President Obama does not waver on his pledge to “take a back seat to no one” in his support for Net Neutrality.