WMC Statement on Net Neutrality & DC Circuit Court Ruling

This week's DC Circuit Court ruling that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has limited power over Internet traffic means that the future of Net Neutrality, and essential online freedoms, are hanging in the balance. If lawmakers and the FCC do nothing, access to information and expression on the Internet could land squarely in the hands of corporations. The Women's Media Center will continue supporting Net Neutrality and the freedom of information worldwide.

Net Neutrality would mean not just a protection of current online freedoms, but a much-needed end to corporate censorship we've already witnessed. In 2007, NARAL Pro-Choice America attempted to send a text message to its membership, but Verizon denied the request, preventing NARAL from communicating freely with its own members. AT&T censored comments critical of former President George W. Bush during a Webstream of a Pearl Jam concert. These incidents are just a few examples of the restrictions we've already seen, and only a fraction of what could be made legal under the new ruling.

The Internet enables women's groups to mobilize their supporters and organize online. Beyond activism, the web serves as a revolutionary medium in and of itself; access to a high-speed Internet empowers women in regions where they remain under the heel of their male counterparts, providing a world of knowledge and connection they could never otherwise access.

The media advocacy organization Free Press has led the fight for Net Neutrality, and in January Women's Media Center signed their letter urging support from the FCC. We also published an Exclusive by Free Press's Mary Alice Crim (http://bit.ly/atOXGm), detailing how Net Neutrality impacts women, and how citizens can raise their voices to support it.

The Supreme Court ruling must be addressed before it becomes an unmovable status quo - and it can be. Sign this petition from Free Press (http://bit.ly/cABVwj) demanding that the FCC reassert its authority make Net Neutrality a lasting reality. Make no mistake: women's rights are on the line.

To speak with Women's Media Center President Jehmu Greene, please contact Rebekah Spicuglia, (212) 563-0680, rebekah@womensmediacenter.com.