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FreedomWorks activists are approaching half a million actions to pressure select members of Congress to defend Internet Freedom and uphold FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order.
Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee are expected to participate in Facebook live streams on the FreedomWorks Facebook page at 6 pm ET.
FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon commented:
“Almost half a million actions were taken today by conservative grassroots activists who believe in a free and open internet. They have made their voices heard, and I don’t think Sen. Susan Collins or the other senators will be able to ignore them.”
Below are some of the highlights from the afternoon livestreams on the FreedomWorks Facebook page:
FreedomWorks Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Wayne Brough on the noon live stream: “[Chairman Pai] did [give up a certain amount of power with the Restoring Internet Freedom Order]. It was a new administration coming in with a new, fresh slate in terms of policy. At that point, it’s easier to do something that may be giving up power because it’s a new regime with a new viewpoint. It gives you an opportunity to go in there and actually do something bold like Ajit Pai did. I think it was courageous that he did it, and there was a lot of rumbling among the captured industries, saying this is not what we were hoping for. So he did a great thing by stepping up and challenging those who said ‘no, we want a regulated world, we want regulations to cover us much more heavily than they are now.’ He said, ‘No, we’re going to rely on the way we’ve regulated the internet going back 20 years.’”
R Street Institute’s Joe Kane on the 1:00pm live stream: “There’s a lot of this apocalyptic rhetoric around. It seems to ignore the fact that these are rules that went into effect in 2015, that we didn’t have prior to that. And the internet still existed. So all the great growth of all these websites we use every day happened without Title II regulation in place, so it’s kind of silly to say that if we take them away now, everything’s going to go away.”
Mercatus’ Brent Skorup on the 2:00pm live stream: “The beauty of the internet, why it’s been so transformative, it’s this global permissionless network, where you don’t need permission from a regulator, you don’t need to go to state public utility commissions to deploy new services. Once states and governors are regulating the internet, you create splinternets. You can imagine 51 Internets, each with a different state or city regulator.”
Speaking about the Ninth Circuit’s decision today to allow the FTC’s case against AT&T to move forward, Americans for Tax Reform’s Katie McAuliffe commented on the 3:00pm live stream: “The Federal Trade Commission does have jurisdiction over unfair and deceptive practices. This goes back for actions before these Title II rules were put in place, and, now that Chairman Pai of the Federal Communications Commission has rolled back those Title II rules, going forward the Federal Trade Commission does have authority. The fact that there was a case out there and that this case can now go forward that the Federal Trade Commission can and will do things in the limited instances that companies act in a way that does harm consumers.”
Conservative grassroots activists will continue to use #ampFW and #InternetFreedom to drive messages to Congress on Facebook and Twitter, as well as drive hundreds of calls and emails to targeted Republican Senate offices.