From reddit to Pornhub, Websites Slow Down for Net Neutrality on September 10

by Rainey Reitman,  Electronic Frontier Foundation

You know the net neutrality conversation is breaking new ground when even the porn sites are weighing in. And that’s just what we’re seeing: Major adult platforms Pornhub and Redtube are joining an online protest on September 10, calling for stronger protections for net neutrality. They’re teaming up with dozens of digital rights organizations, including EFF, Demand Progress, and Fight for the Future, as well as other Internet companies like Etsy, reddit and Mozilla, in a digital day of action designed to bring the net neutrality debate to hundreds of thousands of Internet users worldwide.

Net neutrality— the idea that Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all data that travels over their networks equally—got major attention this Spring when the FCC released proposed regulatory guidelines that left Internet users and companies alike deeply concerned. The proposal included new language giving ISPs leeway to create a “fast lane” for certain websites (i.e. websites with deep pockets that were willing to shell out more money for faster access to users).

But you can’t have a fast lane without also having a slower lane. And that means everyday websites—including journalistic websites and start-up companies that could compete with established web services—could be slow to load, even as our expectations for loading speed leap ahead in the coming years.

That’s why the protest on September 10 will showcase a slow-lane Internet, by putting graphics of “page loading” warnings on participating sites. (Don’t worry—Pornhub promises it won’t actually load pages more slowly.)

For months, the FCC has been collecting comments from the public about its proposed net neutrality guidelines, and hundreds of thousands of people have already spoken out.  But we’re fast approaching the deadline for public engagement through the rulemaking process: September 15 is the end of the public comment period.

That’s why the day of action on September 10 is so important—it’s our last big push to get the general public to speak out about net neutrality before the deadline.  Read the entire story.

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