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Contact: Sherwin Siy 202-861-0020 (o)
For Immediate Release
DATE: November 16, 2012
Public Knowledge Joins Intervenors to Protect Open Internet Rules in Court
Background: Public Knowledge joined with technology companies and state consumer advocates to defend the FCC's open Internet rules against a challenge by Verizon. The brief, on behalf of a coalition of technology companies (including Amazon, eBay, DISH Network, Google, Paypal, Skype, Netflix, and others), Vonage, Public Knowledge, and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates ("NASUCA"), intervenes in the case, saying that the rules protect them from anticompetitive discrimination and promote broadband usage and deployment.
The following statement may be attributed to Sherwin Siy, Vice President of Legal Affairs:
"It's vitally important that the Internet remain open. Users, innovative edge services, and content creators all rely on a network where your ISP gets to favor whatever content they choose. Without the certainty that these rules provide, the Internet becomes a poorer, less valuable, and less free system.
"Verizon's claims that the rules violate its First Amendment rights are ridiculous. If any speech is being affected by these rules, it's the speech of Verizon's customers—the very speech that Verizon threatens by indicating that it would alter and edit to suit its own needs. If anything, the open internet rules protect speech, rather than hamper it.
"It's particularly strange to see carriers trying to claim their customers' free speech rights for themselves, since we have laws and policies in place that insulate ISPs from the consequences of what their customers say. This is a case of a company trying to have it both ways—saying that it's not liable for its customers speech while claiming that that same speech for itself in order to avoid common-sense regulation."
The intervenors' brief can be found here.
Public Knowledge is a Washington D.C.- based public interest group working to defend consumer rights in the emerging digital culture. More information is available at http://www.publicknowledge.org