NEW YORK—PEN America joined 99 other free expression, digital freedom, and civil liberties organizations in sending an open letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, urging them to pass the Save the Internet Act (H.R. 1644) which would reinstate net neutrality protections. 

The U.S. House of Representatives debated the Save the Internet Act on Tuesday and will vote today on whether or not to reinstate net neutrality protections and ensure an open and free internet for all. This coalition has come together to call on Congress to restore the core digital freedoms and guarantees of open access that were jeopardized by the FCC’s 2017 repeal of net neutrality regulations. 

The letter reads in part: “Since the repeal of the Open Internet Order by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in December 2017, millions of Americans have been fighting to protect an open and accessible internet and calling on Congress to restore vital protections for universal communications rights, small business innovation, and free speech online…The Save the Internet Act is the best chance we have to restore real net neutrality and an open and accessible internet for everyone in America. We urge you to support this important bill that will restore strong open internet protections.”

“Net neutrality protections are critical 21st century guarantees of free expression, fair commerce, and access to information,” said Thomas O. Melia, PEN America Washington, D. C. Director. “Without these protections, free expression online is vulnerable to slowdown and suppression, which adversely affects freelance content creators such as artists, writers, and film-makers, and many others. Our coalition supports the efforts in the House of Representatives to restore net neutrality to its full strength and we stand behind continuing efforts to undo the 2017 repeal.”

See the full letter here and learn more about our work on net neutrality here


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

CONTACT: Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager: [email protected]