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The Net Neutrality Battle

Reported by Techdirt

The future of the internet is at stake, as the battle for “net neutrality” and an open internet take shape. Back our reporting and help save the internet by making sure people are informed on what’s really happening — and why it’s important.

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*This project will only be funded if $60,000 is raised by Jul 31, 09:21PM GMT
★ DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT ★ A backer will match every dollar you pledge, up to $30,000 in total.

Here’s what you’ll get for subscribing:

  • Detailed and in-depth reporting on the issues around net neutrality and why they’re important. This will include timely “news” updates, as well as more in-depth explorations, interviews and reporting into the issues, the challenges, the players and the opportunities.

  • Open Q&A sessions around net neutrality, interviews with key players and infographics to try to explain complex issues.

  • Access to every story, by every writer on Beacon.

The future of the internet is at stake — and many vested interests are relying on the public’s apathy to get their way.

The fight over net neutrality is nothing less than a fight for the way our internet will be in the future.


The future of the Internet will be decided in Washington, DC over the next year. Techdirt will be on the front lines of the battle.

Will it be an open and free platform that allows anyone with a computer to build the next great internet service, or will it increasingly be balkanized and limited so that only the richest companies can truly participate — and with the big broadband players getting to call all the shots (and setup toll booths around the internet).

iStock_000032455488Small (1).jpg

If net neutrality isn’t maintained, internet service providers might be able to throttle your download speeds from certain sites unless you pay more.

A recent study by Pew Research found that there was barely any mainstream media coverage of net neutrality in the first half of 2014, even as the issue re-emerged as a key fight for the future of the internet thanks to an appeals court ruling, and the FCC’s planned efforts. In part, this is because the issue is complicated and nuanced — two things that often scare off the mainstream media. In part, it’s because many in the mainstream media have vested interests as well (NBC, for example, is owned by Comcast). But it’s vitally important that there be more detailed coverage of this pivotal battle.


Comcast spends millions lobbying against net neutrality, and owns NBC, who’s expected to report on the issue. Techdirt’s reporting is wholly independent.

Techdirt has been central to similar fights in the past, is widely read and respected and is engaged with many of the key players.

Many people remember the big fight a few years ago around SOPA/PIPA — which was another pivotal debate in what kind of internet we, the public, wanted to have going forward. Techdirt was not only one of the very first to report on that legislation, but a Harvard study found that it was a key player in moving that debate forward, building awareness and getting people involved. Techdirt has also been deeply involved in both technology and policy issues for over 15 years, and knows or has access to many of the key players in this upcoming fight within the activism community, the tech world and the policy space.

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According to a Harvard study about the SOPA/PIPA debate, Techdirt was the “single most important professional media site over the entire period, overshadowing the more established media.” The chart above tracks the number of in-links to media coverage about SOPA/PIPA. Techdirt was linked more than any other source.

Become a backer and help us create original reporting on net neutrality →

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Over 60 percent funded!

18 hours ago

Hello Techdirt backers,

First off, thank you so much for backing the projects and getting us this far. You guys absolutely rock. We’re currently over 60% funded with about a week to go, and it’s really thanks to each and every one of you for contributing — and to our matching donors, including Twitch.tv and Namecheap.

If you know of others who recognize how important a free and open internet are, and who might want to support our in-depth and independent reporting on it, please share the link with them, however you can (email, social, smoke signal: it’s all good).:


We’re going to need your help if we’re going to reach the funding target.

Assuming the project reaches the goal—and I’m confident it will—we’ll immediately be able to ramp up our net neutrality coverage, including bringing in guest writers, conducting interviews with key players, talking to a variety of stakeholders about what’s at stake, hopefully getting some interviews with key officials and actually digging deep into the over 1 million comments that were submitted to the FCC on this matter.

We’ve already found some oddities (see: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140718/07115427928/guy-files-dishwasher-user-manual-as-fcc-comment-net-neutrality.shtml ) but I’m putting together a bigger list of interesting comments and really want to spend some time finding some gems and exploring what they have to say.

Also, if you missed it, I did a Reddit AMA this week about net neutrality and a bunch of other issues: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2bf512/mike_masnick_here_founder_of_techdirt_blogger_net/

Thanks again, Mike

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Techdirt was started in 1997 and was one of the first technology “blogs” (taking on that format since before the word “blog” existed). The site has built up a strong reputation for covering technology trends, tech policy, business model and innovation economics issues. It has won multiple awards, including a Webby nomination for best blog, and “best of the web” awards from both Business Week and Forbes. Techdirt has published over 50,000 articles and is known for its engaged and insightful community, which has contributed over 1 million comments. The Techdirt blog is regularly quoted or cited in the mainstream media and is known for straddling the worlds of technology, business and policy unlike any other publication today.

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