Senate Leader de León: Preserving Net Neutrality is Vital to our Democracy and Way of Life

Thursday, December 28, 2017

SACRAMENTO – California State Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) released a video message today announcing he will join colleagues in introducing legislation to preserve net neutrality in California.  This comes after the Federal Communications Commission’s recent decision to repeal safeguards that keep the internet open and free.                                                 

The video message can be viewed in full here.

Below is a transcript of the Senate Leader’s message:

Hello - this is Kevin de León, and I’m the leader of the California State Senate.

I’m fighting to preserve net neutrality because I believe a free and open internet is vital to our democracy and our way of life.

Net neutrality is fundamentally an issue of free speech; it’s about who has access to which ideas; who gets to decide what information you see; and how fast your internet works.

Whether you want to Netflix and chill; stream your favorite songs; run your business; or start a political revolution; no company should get to decide how you use the internet.

No company should have the power to slow down your connection; no company should be able to hold your ideas hostage or demand a ransom to access your favorite streaming service or website.

In today’s digital world, the internet is critical to free expression, free speech, and democracy.  Americans of every income level and political persuasion depend on a free and open internet.

That’s why the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality is so dangerous.

Not only does it directly contradict the will of the vast majority of Americans - it also gives your internet service provider the power to sabotage the competition by throttling the internet speeds on competing sites; or letting companies pay for priority to gain an unfair advantage in the race for your attention.

And without strong net neutrality rules, there’s nothing to stop the companies that already monopolize the internet from blocking websites or information altogether.

We cannot allow the profits and political interests of internet service providers to outweigh the public interest in a free and open internet - it’s too important to our economy and our way of life.

If the Trump Administration won’t protect consumers, the State of California will.

When the legislature reconvenes in January, I’ll work with any lawyer - Democrat or Republican - to ensure California’s internet remains a level playing field.

I will introduce legislation on day one to prohibit internet service providers from blocking content; throttling content or services; or engaging in paid prioritization.

We will use every tool at our disposal to protect your right to a truly free, equal, and open internet.

Join me by calling on your representatives to support net neutrality for California!”