The broad, nonpartisan movement for Internet freedom notched a major victory today, when a bipartisan majority of the House Judiciary Committee passed the â€œInternet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2006â€³ â€” a bill that offers meaningful protections for Network Neutrality, â€œthe First Amendment of the Internet.â€?
20 members of the Commitee (6 Republicans and 14 Democrats) voted for the bipartisan Bill, and only 13 against.
“Internet freedom is under attack, but Americans of every political stripe are fighting back together and today we achieved an amazing victory,” said Eli Pariser, Executive Director of MoveOn.org Civic Action. “Today’s vote was a solid loss for AT&T’s multi-million dollar lobbyists and a solid victory for the rest of us — including the thousands of Americans who have called Congress every day in support of protecting Net Neutrality.”
Since it launched in late April, more than 700 groups spanning the political spectrum have joined the SavetheInternet.com Coalition, including MoveOn.org, the Christian Coalition, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Gun Owners of America, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the American Library Association, and Craig Newmark of Craigslist.
“We urge Congress to move aggressively to save the Internet — and allow ideas rather than money to control what Americans can access on the World Wide Web,” said Roberta Combs, President of the Christian Coalition of America. “We urge all Americans to contact their Congressmen and Senators and tell them to save the Internet and to support Net Neutrality.”
The bipartisan “Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2006” (H.R. 5417) next moves to the full House after Congress returns from its Memorial Day recess. The SavetheInternet.com Coalition is urging people to continue writing and calling their members of Congress until Network Neutrality becomes law.
This victory is a great indication of how much people value the internet and want to keep it accessible for consumers, writers, activists, small businesses, churches, political groups, community organizations, and, yes, bloggers. Hooray for everyone who has helped the net neutrality movement! We need to keep the pressure on until net neutrality becomes law.