How Your Internet Provider Restricts Your Rights

[Commentary] Communications providers who offer access to the Internet in our homes and on our phones have found a way to evade accountability by effectively locking the courtroom doors on their customers. They do it through the use of what are known as mandatory arbitration clauses, buried deep in the fine print of the contracts you have to sign in order to get Internet service. These clauses force you to sign away your right to go to court in the event of a dispute, in favor of a private arbitration process that is inherently biased towards corporations and offers no meaningful appeals process.

In an age where reliable and affordable Internet access is an absolute necessity, we believe that you shouldn’t have to give up your day in court to go online, either. That’s why we’re teaming up to try to eliminate mandatory arbitration clauses in telecom contracts. But whether it’s in the Senate (where Al has authored legislation that would ban these clauses) or at the Federal Communications Commission (where Mignon is leading the charge for a regulatory crackdown this month), your voice matters in this fight. After all, these are your rights at stake. If the issue of mandatory arbitration remains just another little-known way for corporations to take advantage of the little guy, it’ll be impossible to stop them. But if we raise awareness about this quiet threat to our rights and raise our voices in support of eliminating this unfair practice once and for all, we can strike a blow for justice and protect every American who goes online—which is pretty much all of us.

How Your Internet Provider Restricts Your Rights FCC Privacy Item May Nix Mandatory Arbitration (Multichannel News) Mandatory arbitration restricts rights of ISP customers, says FCC Democrat (ars technica)