Internet giants rally to defend U.S. net neutrality rules

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-12 18:19:14|Editor: Song Lifang
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NEW YORK, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Many of the internet's most recognizable brands, including Google, Facebook, Amazon and Netflix, are joining an online protest on Wednesday against plans to repeal U.S. rules protecting "net neutrality."

The sites will display a variety of messages, or simulate the potential effects of losing the basic principle of all internet traffic being treated equally.

On this "Day of Action," more than 70,000 sites, organizations and individuals are taking part in the online protest, according to Fight the Future, one of the groups organizing the protest.

In dispute are a set of U.S. federal regulations passed in 2015 that internet service providers should not slow down, block or charge websites extra fees while treating other sites differently.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently seeking to eliminate the open internet protections implemented during the Obama administration, which is expected to benefit internet providers such as AT&T and Verizon.

Opponents argued that repealing the FCC's net neutrality rules would give internet service providers too much power to determine what consumers can and can't see online, and for what price.

"If a new company can't access companies on the same terms as the incumbent's, they're not going to have the chance to thrive," the BBC cited Sean Vitka, a lawyer for pro-net neutrality groups Demand Progress and Fight for Future as saying.

FCC's new chairman Ajit Pai first announced the proposal in April, saying that the Obama-era regulations have "put at risk online investment and innovation, threatening the very open internet it purported to preserve."

The commission voted to move forward with the roll-back in May and is taking comments from the public until next week.