Who's fighting to save the Internet now?

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After years of pressure from Internet service providers, network neutrality is under threat by the Federal Communications Commission itself.

In a letter, Sen Al Franken (D-MN) warned that the FCC’s latest network neutrality proposal "would not preserve the Open Internet -- it would destroy it." His language is reminiscent of the response to another "Internet-destroying" policy: SOPA, the anti-piracy bill that mobilized perhaps the most effective online protest of all time. Like SOPA, these proposed Open Internet rules tackle an issue that’s near to the hearts of both Internet denizens and tech companies.

And as the FCC plans to officially consider the rules on May 15th, they’re figuring out how to mobilize the same kind of opposition. Though the company hasn’t confirmed anything on the record, sources say that outspoken net neutrality proponent Netflix has privately brought concerns to the FCC, and that it, Google, and other major players are quietly planning an accompanying publicity blitz.

Other groups have been more open. Mozilla, a prominent participant in the 2012 anti-SOPA blackout, has filed a petition with the FCC, asking it to regulate parts of Internet service providers’ business under common carrier laws. Mozilla senior policy engineer Chris Riley sees the FCC’s current proposal as the worst of both worlds: by allowing "commercially reasonable" discrimination, it’s allowing ISPs to undermine net neutrality, and by requiring a baseline level of service, it could be stretching beyond the limited authority courts have given it. "I’m really worried that what the FCC would do now is both lose in court and fail to protect net neutrality," he says. If it fails, net neutrality supporters predict dire consequences.

Reddit, currently one of the 25 most popular sites in the US, also joined the SOPA blackout, and it’s planning a site-wide online protest on May 15th. Nothing is locked down, but he hopes some of the politicians who have spoken out against the proposal will make appearances on Reddit -- a statement by Sen Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made it to the top of the site.

Who's fighting to save the Internet now?