Protest against effort to roll back net neutrality - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Protest against effort to roll back net neutrality

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8 / AP) - Thousands of web sites on Wednesday took part in a day of action to protest the efforts to roll back net neutrality rules.

Internet activists and tech firms hope that the protest will pressure Congress and the FCC, the way a highly visible 2012 online protest - including the blackout of Wikipedia's English-language site for 24 hours - helped kill anti-piracy legislation that tech companies equated to internet censorship.

The 2015 regulation is the only set of net-neutrality rules that courts have upheld.

The FCC argues that the Internet thrived before the current net neutrality rules were put in place - rules which the FCC says stifle investment.

Critics blast the FCC's arguing that without the net neutral regulations, smaller companies would be unfairly penalized and web users would have to deal with slower online speeds and fewer accessible web sites.

This year's online protest is more muted. Netflix put a gray banner at the top of its home page and is tweeting out "gif" animations in support. Amazon's website has a small square inviting users to "learn more." Twitter is promoting "net neutrality" as the top trending topic in the U.S. Google tweeted a blog post. Smaller tech companies including Airbnb and Etsy have fat banners on their home pages.

Tim Karr, the campaign director for Free Press, an advocacy group that supports net neutrality, said that internet users have taken "hundreds of thousands of actions," like contacting the FCC. There had been about 6 million filings on net neutrality's overturn made to the FCC as of Tuesday night, both supporting and opposing the policy; that had risen to 6.7 million Wednesday afternoon.

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