'Demand Progress' falls short in its defense of Net Neutrality

Another dramatic example of the legal and political naivete of conventional activist groups when it comes to understanding corporate constitutional so-called "rights". I've red-highlighted the relevant text below, with my added comments following in blue. And I've invited David Segal or other 'Demand Progress' staff to enter into a dialogue about these critical issues.

Paul Cienfuegos
Begin forwarded message:

Subject: Comcast jumps the shark
Date: September 16, 2015 3:03:59 PM PDT
To: "Paul Cienfuegos" <paul@100fires.com>
Reply-To: "David Segal, DemandProgress.org" <info@demandprogress.org>

We've just seen the latest legal argument against Net Neutrality from Comcast's allies, and it's shocking.

**[No, it's obvious and based on settled law.]

They're saying that Net Neutrality violates their First Amendment free speech rights—because according to this theory, the flow of data on the Internet is THEIR SPEECH, and therefore they should be allowed to shut down speech they don't like.1

**[And they're right. It does violate their "rights". Get used to it, or challenge these legal structures!]

In other words, Comcast's allies are claiming THEY have a First Amendment right to throttle OUR speech.

**[They DO. Don't like it? Then start working to dismantle their long-established "rights" rather than always acting so surprised and wounded!]

Monday is the deadline to file written legal arguments in defense of Net Neutrality, and we've got some of the top legal experts in the country on the case. 

**[And will your legal experts whine about those "rights" being unfair, or begin to expose them as illegitimate? Two very different legal paths.]

Will you chip in $5 to help defend Net Neutrality?

Almost immediately after the FCC's historic Net Neutralty rule was announced, AT&T, Verizon, and lobbyists for Comcast filed a flood of at least 10 lawsuits to block Net Neutrality.2 They think they can bury the FCC in lawsuits and either get the rule blocked or delay its enforcement long enough for the next president to overturn it.

And while we're 100 percent confident that the law is on our side,

**[Huh?! The law is very much NOT on our side. Settled law says corporations have free speech "rights". Get used to it, or start working to dismantle these unjust laws. But don't act like the existing laws are on our side, That's a totally foolish position to try to defend.]

we've seen the telecommunications industry use their armies of lawyers to block Net Neutrality before. Just last year, a federal court blocked an earlier version of Net Neutrality.3

Since we helped mobilize the more than 3.7 million comments the FCC received, we're in an ideal position to show the courts just how much public support there is for Net Neutrality.

**[Hey guys: The courts aren't that interested in popularity contests. They're going to decide based on settled law, which means our side is likely to lose this one.]

But we don't have massive corporations to pay for our legal costs. We're counting on you, our members, to chip in.

Will you donate $5 to help defend Net Neutrality?

Thanks for standing with us. 

— David, Sara, Daniel, Kurt, Mark, Victoria, and the rest of the Demand Progress team 


1. Joint Brief for Pet'rs - USTA v. FCC & USA (D.C. Cir.), Federal Communications Commission, July 30, 2015

2. FCC net neutrality rules hit with new telecom lawsuits, Politico, April 14, 2015

3. Federal appeals court strikes down net neutrality rules, The Washington Post, January 14, 2014


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