Press Release
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Craig Aaron
Communications Director, Free Press
caaron(at)freepress.net
(202) 265-1490 ext 25



One Million Americans Urge Senate to Save the Internet

Grassroots Coalition Calls on Senators to Heed Growing Public Outcry for Net Neutrality Legislation

Capitol Hill Event Gathers Broad Bipartisan Support for the "Internet Freedom Preservation Act"

WASHINGTON (June 14) -- The SavetheInternet.com Coalition today delivered more than 1 million petitions and letters from average Americans to Capitol Hill, urging Congress to protect Net Neutrality and stand firm against efforts by phone and cable companies to control the Internet.

At a press conference on Capitol Hill, Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) called upon their colleagues to heed the public outcry and support the "Internet Freedom and Preservation Act" (S. 2917), a bipartisan bill that would bar companies like AT&T;, Verizon and Comcast from blocking, degrading or interfering with content or services on the Internet.

"The idea that brings us together is a free and unfettered Internet," said Senator Snowe. "It's vital we preserve, not undermine, the extraordinarily democratic technological network - over which content providers from the largest corporations in the biggest cities in the world to single individuals in rural towns have equal opportunity to reach millions of Internet users."

"It's essential that we preserve Internet freedom," said Senator Dorgan. "The open architecture which now exists, and which allows everyone fair access to any site on the Internet, without gatekeepers, must be preserved. That is what our bill would do - preserve Internet freedom, which is at the very core of what makes the Internet so important, and something that enriches the lives of millions of Americans."

The million petition signatures and letters were collected via the SavetheInternet.com Coalition Web site and by members of the coalition, including Free Press, MoveOn.org Civic Action, Common Cause, Consumers Union, True Majority and Working Assets.

"Net Neutrality has allowed the Internet to become the new public square, where everyday people can participate in our democracy and have their voices heard," said Joan Blades, the co-founder of MoveOn.org. "We cannot let the Internet gatekeepers decide who gets into the public square -- everyone from MoveOn to the Christian Coalition should get in, so the best ideas can thrive based on their merit. The SavetheInternet.com Coalition will intensify our grassroots pressure on the Senate to assure that Internet freedom is preserved and Net Neutrality remains the law of the land."

Blades was joined at the press conference by fellow coalition member Michele Combs of the Christian Coalition of America, who told reporters: "We're committed to working on behalf of our supporters to ensure that the Internet remains the free marketplace of ideas, products, and services that it is today. We urge the Senate to move aggressively to save the Internet and allow ideas to thrive on the World Wide Web, and we will do our part to make certain our supporters get that message."

The more than 750 groups in the SavetheInternet.com Coalition include the National Religious Broadcasters, the Service Employees International Union, the American Library Association, Educause, Gun Owners of America, Future of Music Coalition, Parents Television Council, the ACLU, and every major consumer group in the nation. The coalition also includes the founders of the Internet, hundreds of small companies that do business online, and thousands of bloggers.

"More than 1 million Americans are speaking out today on behalf of Internet freedom," said Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press, which coordinates the SavetheInternet.com Coalition. "Yet Congress still could cave to corporate pressure by rewriting laws and handing over control of the Internet to corporations like AT&T;, Verizon and Comcast. The Senate must step in to defend the Internet from gatekeepers who plan to tax innovation and throttle the free market."

To learn more, visit www.SavetheInternet.com

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The SavetheInternet.com Coalition is a grassroots, nonpartisan alliance of hundreds of groups, thousands of blogger, more than a million concerned Americans who have joined together to protect Internet freedom and Network Neutrality. No corporation or political party funds the coalition. Statements by the SavetheInternet.com Coalition are not necessarily endorsed by every participating organization.

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