OpenMedia

Stop the Secrecy

Press Room

January 14, 2015 – On the heels of the FCC’s announcement of new minimum Internet speeds for all Americans, Internet advocates are celebrating today’s push from President Obama calling for common-sense steps to ensure American Internet users can access a wide range of affordable, innovative, and high-speed services independent of current big telecom conglomerates.

President Obama urged the FCC to override laws in 19 states that block independent options for Internet services, and called for new funding for municipal and rural broadband Internet development across the country. In response, OpenMedia.org Campaigns Manager Josh Tabish had this to say:

Thursday December 11, 2014 – As Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks continue in Washington, D.C., negotiators are set to feel the heat from public interest groups outraged at the secrecy surrounding the talks. The organizations say it’s past time for TPP negotiators to follow the example of the European Commission which recently released to the public the draft text of a similar Trans-Atlantic deal.

November 10, 2014 – This morning U.S. President Barack Obama released a decisive statement urging the FCC to use the strongest measures possible to ensure strong net neutrality rules keep the Internet an open playing field, stating “no service should be stuck in a ‘slow lane’ because it does not pay a fee.”

International digital rights organization OpenMedia welcomes this strong statement from the President, as recent rumors reported in the Wall Street Journal suggested that the FCC was still considering rules allowing slow lanes online. In his statement, President Obama directly refers to Title II reclassification, a strong and enforceable approach that Internet freedom advocates - including OpenMedia - have been fighting to implement for the past year, saying: “I'm asking the FCC to classify Internet services under Title II of the law known as the Telecommunications Act.”

October 16, 2014 – This morning Wikileaks published a second leaked draft of the Intellectual Property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The draft confirms people’s worst fears about Internet censorship. That’s according to community-based organization OpenMedia, which is leading a large international Fair Deal Coalition aimed at securing balanced copyright rules for the 21st Century.

“It is hugely disappointing to see that, yet again, members of the public worldwide have to be informed about these critical issues through leaked drafts, instead of through democratic engagement on the part of governments and elected officials,” said OpenMedia Campaigns Coordinator Meghan Sali. “When will our decision-makers recognize that negotiating serious issues - especially proposals that would censor our use of the Internet - must be considered and debated democratically instead of in secret meetings with industry lobbyists?”

October 15, 2014 – Citizens from across the globe want balanced copyright rules that are shaped democratically, respect creators, and prioritize free expression. That’s the message of Our Digital Future: A Crowdsourced Agenda for Free Expression, a new report launched today by community-based OpenMedia. The overall consultation process took place over 2 years engaging 300,000 people from Australia to Vietnam.

The report is being launched just days before a crucial round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks take place in Australia. The findings come as a significant blow to Big Media lobbyists, who have been using the secretive TPP talks to ram through extreme proposals that would censor the Internet and criminalize many everyday online activities. The report finds that over 72% of respondents want copyright rules to be created through “a participatory multi-stakeholder process” in contrast to closed-door TPP meetings from which citizens are completely excluded.

Digital rights group OpenMedia is joining with Netflix, reddit, Vimeo, and a huge international coalition to support Internet Slowdown Day. Dozens of major websites have agreed to show their users a perpetual ‘loading’ icon, to symbolize how the loss of net neutrality rules could slow many favourite websites to a crawl. To support the day of action, OpenMedia is hosting an action platform at http://StopTheSlowdown.net and encouraging websites to embed the web action widget found here: https://openmedia.org/bigtelecomvstheworld/resources#widget

The move comes against the backdrop of a crucial U.S. FCC hearing which could decide the future of net neutrality in the U.S. Large telecom conglomerates are pushing the FCC to do away with net neutrality, a move that would have major implications for Internet users around the world. Earlier this week, OpenMedia joined with over 60 organizations from over 25 nations to launch Big Telecom -v- The World, a week of action aimed at sounding a loud global call in defence of net neutrality. Over 120,000 people from 179 countries have signed on to the campaign in just 24 hours, making it OpenMedia’s most successful campaign launch of 2014.

September 8, 2014 – Millions of Internet users from across the globe are standing together to defend the open Internet, and push back against attempts by large telecom conglomerates to undermine net neutrality and consign millions to an Internet slow lane. That’s the message of a new international campaign, Big Telecom -v- The World, launching this morning.

OpenMedia International is collaborating with over 50 organizations from over 20 countries on a Week of Action which will rally Internet users, digital rights groups, and tech companies across the globe to show a united voice for net neutrality. Supporters of the campaign include BitTorrent, Boing Boing, Daily Kos, Electronic Frontiers Australia, Fundación Vía Libre, Greenpeace, reddit, SumOfUs, and many others.

July 9, 2014A large international coalition representing over 100 web companies and Internet user groups are speaking out

June 5, 2014 - A huge international collection of experts have called on world governments to adopt the 13 International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance (IPAHRCS) — principles aimed at putting an end to the blanket surveillance of law-abiding persons. The call comes a year to the day after whistleblower Edward Snowden first revealed details about how government spy agencies, including the United States' National Security Agency, are monitoring law-abiding citizens on a massive and unprecedented scale. In the 12 months since the revelations, most world governments have ignored growing calls from citizens to put an end to this bulk collection.

Huge public outcry succeeds in forcing FCC to back away from officially endorsing Big Telecom’s Slow Lane plan

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission announced this morning that it will push ahead with a proposal that could create an Internet slow lane for everyone except deep-pocketed conglomerates. However, at the last minute, the FCC pulled back from their the original vision for the slow lane proposal, which is being pushed for by Big Telecom, by opening the possibility of reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service. Experts agree that reclassification the only way to safeguard the open Internet and put an end to the prospect of slow lanes.

The FCC proposal now moves into a 60-day public comment period, followed by a further 60 days for response. Nearly 100,000 people have spoken out against the Slow Lane as part of an international campaign led by OpenMedia in partnership with The Nation magazine.

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