View from the field: restoring net neutrality

View from the Field is a permanent feature that highlights the efforts of Free Press’s team of organizers and supporters.

We provide regular updates from the field as staff work with our incredible allies and activists to create a just and equitable media system.

  • Free Press mobilized over 200 civil society organizations, researchers and journalists to call on technology platforms to take six concrete steps to protect the integrity of the 2024 elections. We hosted a press conference with leaders of this global coalition, including a Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa and the free press Nora Benavidez AND Jessica J. Gonzalez. As at least 60 countries prepare to hold elections this year amid evidence of rising authoritarianism, the stakes could not be higher. To read Democracy postponedour report on companies’ reactions to our requests.
  • Den he also took part in the panel discussion “AI, Technology & Election Mis(Dis)Information” at the headquarters Voting rights in the Southern Conference. The event discussed the legacy of voter suppression in the South, the current state of affairs, and strategies to ensure the full and unequivocal right to a fair vote for Black and Brown residents.
  • Cassie Owens AND guest moderator Naila Francis organized grief support workshops in Philadelphia. This grew out of the Free Press community meetings held in Philadelphia in 2023, where therapists and organizers noted that bereavement care could benefit community members experiencing harm from criminal insurance. Vanessa Maria Graber was a co-organizer of the event and Naila led a workshop where participants met by the lake and participated in grief education, journaling tips, group discussions, and meditation practices. Imani Oakley took part in the meeting.
  • Earlier this year, Cassie AND Vanessa Maria created the Public Safety Cohort, which is working to change the way crime is reported in Philadelphia. In April, they hosted the final meeting in the ongoing harm reduction series for cohort members. aAliy A. Muhammad led this event, which took place at the Museum of Colored Girls.
  • On April 25, Free Press staffers including Amanda Beckham, Yanni Chen, Alex Frandsen, Heather Franklin, Timothy Karr, B’Asia Settles and Matt Wood attended the FCC’s monthly meeting and celebrated when commissioners voted to restore net neutrality protections and restore Title II agencies with the power to hold companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon accountable for harming Internet users. “We have been fighting for this moment long before the Trump FCC struck down tough Title II regulations in 2017,” he said Craig Aaron. “It has been almost 20 years since net neutrality was first threatened. Since then, the debate over net neutrality, like the Internet itself, has evolved. But the central concern remains the same: Does the FCC have the authority granted by Title II of the Communications Act to step in when ISPs treat their customers unfairly by blocking or disrupting the free flow of information on the Internet? …The FCC answered that question with a resounding “yes.”
  • Jessica J. González attended a press conference to celebrate the huge FCC victory alongside Obama-era FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, longtime net neutrality champion Sen. Ed Markey and allies. Participants discussed the importance of the agency’s activities.