NEW YORK—As oral arguments started today, Friday, February 1, in Mozilla v. FCC regarding net neutrality, PEN America Director of U.S. Free Expression Programs Nora Benavidez released the following statement:

“Open access for internet users is a core digital free expression issue. With the Federal Communications Commission’s June 2018 repeal of the regulations that provided open access, wealthier providers can afford faster loading and download speeds for internet users while start-ups, local news sites, and even targeted political content may be slowed or blocked altogether. Net neutrality protections are crucial to guaranteeing people’s ability to freely communicate and access information of their choosing, and without them, free expression on the internet is constantly under threat. Oral arguments began today in Mozilla v. FCC regarding the deregulation of net neutrality, bringing together Mozilla, a number of consumer groups and 22 state attorney generals, where at least two judges on the panel expressed concern over the public safety implications of an open, unregulated internet. The case also helps pave the way for these necessary legal fights to protect (and hopefully resurrect) a free and open internet. PEN America supports the efforts of this broad coalition in their efforts to preserve net neutrality.”  

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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. pen.org

CONTACT: Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager: agasparian@pen.org