Why an open Internet is critical for consumers

We believe that all Americans benefit from an Internet that is accessible and open to all. That’s why we’re participating in an Internet action on September 10 to raise awareness about the fight for net neutrality.

Wikipedia defines net neutrality as: “the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication.”

Senator Al Franken (D-MN) has called net neutrality “the First Amendment issue of our time.” Many are concerned that the language of a recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal is too vague, and thus threatens free speech on the web. But we’re pleased to report that Americans are paying attention; the FCC proposal prompted the largest number of public comments ever for a rule-making.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on September 17 to discuss this issue. “Open Internet rules are the Bill of Rights for the online world,” says Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT).

Why should you care about this issue?

The Internet serves many functions. Communication and education are chief among them. We see the net as an important equalizer—a way for consumers to access information even if it’s not popular. An open Internet promotes free speech, and ultimately, democracy.

Take for instance, our website. We outline tips for choosing a safe international online pharmacy. Americans who can’t afford the high price of U.S. medicine appreciate this information. But big pharmaceutical companies do not. They’d prefer this information was hidden from consumers. And, as you may know from our recent petition, they’ve been working overtime to figure out how to hide it.

An open Internet ensures that consumers can access the best content on the web—websites show up in online searches based on their merit, not based on their paid promotion. FCC regulations need to be stricter so that this doesn’t change. We don’t want to end up with a two-lane Internet system, where a few powerful companies control the flow of information and are prioritized into a fast lane based on the tolls they pay. Or where users have to pay more to access the content they want.

Our supporters would be dramatically affected by such a system. Many of them are strained financially due to the burden of paying for their medications. We can imagine that if the pharmaceutical industry and their cronies have their way, international online pharmacy sites will run slower or even be hidden from view.

We can’t let this happen. Continued access to safe international online pharmacies is critical. Access to this information not only saves money, it saves lives. Just read some of our testimonials if you need proof of this!

What you can do to help. Please note: this link takes you to an external site (not administered by RxRights). If you sign the letter to lawmakers, be sure to uncheck the box if you don’t want future updates from Fight for the Future and Demand Progress.

Find out more about this issue from:

Demand Progress

Free Press

ACLU

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