Digital rights activists stood fast for net neutrality Wednesday despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s dismissal of the widespread support of the Save the Internet Act, citing the millions who tuned in to watch the U.S. House vote over the bill.
“President Trump and Mitch McConnell can say whatever they want, but the writing is on the wall: there is overwhelming public consensus in support of real net neutrality and it’s only a matter of time before we win,” said Evan Greer, deputy director of the internet freedom group Fight for the Future.
The public consensus was illustrated by the five million viewers who Fight for the Future said had already tuned into the group’s marathon livestream, where public interest groups along with celebrities including Tim Morello of Rage Against the Machine were among those making cameos, urging Americans to call their representatives and tell them to vote “yes” on H.R. 1644.
“The politicians standing in the way of internet freedom are embarrassing themselves—they’ll go down in history as incompetent, corrupt, and out of touch,” said Greer. “Republican, conservative, and libertarian voters don’t want their cable company to control what websites or apps they can visit or where they can get their news.”
The bill currently has the support of 214 House members, and needs the support of four more to pass.
As Fight for the Future wrote on Twitter, representatives aligned with the telecom industry are expected to try to water down the legislation instead of ensuring strong protections against the throttling or blocking of internet content.