NEW YORK—In response to the Federal Communications Commission vote today to roll back regulations safeguarding net neutrality, Suzanne Nossel, executive director of free expression advocacy group PEN America, released the following statement:

“This is a dark day for defenders of free expression. 

“The implications of repealing net neutrality protections for free speech and the marketplace of ideas are colossal.  Whether researching an article, searching for images, exploring a new facet of history or culture through video, seeking an audience for your opinions, or simply wandering in search of creative inspiration, confronting new and proliferating toll gates, fees, and boundaries online will impair the quest for knowledge and human connection that the internet has made possible.  We now look to Congress and the courts to defend the unfettered flow of creativity and information by reversing the FCC’s backward-looking decision.”

PEN America has advocated for the principles of net neutrality as a necessary bedrock for free expression in the digital age since 2012, when Trump-appointed FCC Chair Ajit Pai served as counsel for Verizon, a leader in the efforts to repeal net neutrality protections who could see immense financial gain as a result of today’s decision.


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.

Sarah Edkins, Director of Communications: [email protected]org646-779-4830