Newly uncovered tax returns prove that AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon funneled large amounts of dark money to phony “grassroots” groups that helped push for the repeal of net neutrality.1
One of the groups, MyWireless.org, describes itself as “a non-profit consumer advocacy organization giving wireless consumers a powerful and unified voice to protect … freedom, value, security and mobility.” But in fact, MyWireless is staffed almost entirely by Big Cable executives that oppose net neutrality.2
Another telecom-funded group preyed on seniors with robocalls, telling them that net neutrality would raise their phone bills.3
This what we’re up against: big money funding front groups defrauding the American people. To fight back and restore net neutrality in 2019, we’re aiming to sign up 125 monthly donors by the end of the month. Are you in?
When FCC Chair Ajit Pai defended his repeal of net neutrality, he said that the public supported the rollback—despite polls showing that the overwhelming majority of people were against it.4
Pai and his Big Cable lobbyist friends pointed to phony grassroots groups to back up their claims that the public supported the repeal of net neutrality.
Big Cable funneled more than $1.5 million to MyWireless.org. Two other groups, the American Legislative Exchange Council and the National Council of State Legislators, received millions of dollars to act as “bill mills” and write legislation for the state and national level.5
At the beginning of 2018, members of Congress were flooded with tweets calling on them not to sign the discharge petition to save net neutrality—and they were traced back to an AT&T-funded group.6
We’ve always suspected AT&T and Comcast were behind these astroturf campaigns, but now we have solid proof. And now that we know what’s going on, we can go from playing defense to offense in the new year.
We can call out Big Cable’s astroturfing efforts and make sure that they don’t write a bill ending net neutrality. We can build on the momentum for net neutrality we’ve seen this month. We can turn the tables on Big Cable and make taking AT&T’s money as unpopular as taking the NRA’s is now.
But we can only build this long-term strategy with resources we can count on. That’s why we need 125 new monthly donors to step up right now and help us get this plan in motion.
For the Internet,
Evan at Fight for the Future
2. Twin Cities Daily Planet: https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/phony-grassroots-telecom-industry-group-pushes-back-against-cell-phone-reformsht/