BALTIMORE – The NAACP, the country’s original and largest social justice organization, has announced its support for net neutrality and a free, open internet. The NAACP released the following statement.
“The NAACP has always opposed discrimination and has fought for justice and equal opportunity for African-Americans,” said Derrick Johnson, interim president and CEO. “The fight for an open and free internet is an extension of that mission because it has historically given African Americans and other disenfranchised communities access to information and communication. The NAACP is starkly opposed to any attempt to censor or manipulate information on the internet, especially if it creates a barrier to entry for people of color.”
“The internet is the great democratizer. Net neutrality is fundamental to protecting a free and open internet, which has been crucial to today’s fight for civil rights and equality,” said Leon Russell, chairman of the NAACP board of directors. “An open internet facilitates communication with our 2,200 branches across the country and it allows us to organize and respond when we’re needed. Most importantly, it enables African Americans to take advantage of the civic, economic and creative opportunities that the internet provides.”
The NAACP believes that the FCC should makes rules to preserve the principles of an open internet. Those policies must actively protect against censorship of social and political thought. Communications technologies such as the internet must continue to be firmly rooted in our nations’ democratic and free speech principals as expressly cited in NAACP national policies, as well as the U.S. Constitution.
Net neutrality helps to ensure that the internet is a place for innovation and opportunity for all, rather than just the wealthy few. Furthermore, we are opposed to:
- Discriminatory Prioritization. Simply put: no service should be stuck in a “slow lane” because it does not pay a fee.
- If a consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, an Internet Service Provider (ISP) should not be permitted to block it.
- ISPs should not be able to intentionally slow down some content or speed up others — through a process often called “throttling” — based on the type of service or your ISP’s preferences.
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Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas here.