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More tech companies join fight against net neutrality repeal

Etsy, Foursquare and Kickstarter are among the latest companies going to court over the FCC's decision to roll back the rules for an open internet.


People demonstrated in December at FCC headquarters in Washington, DC, against the proposed repeal of net neutrality. 

Alex Edelman / AFP/Getty Images

Another half dozen tech companies are jumping into the legal battle over the FCC's decision to undo net neutrality rules.

Etsy, Foursquare, Kickstarter, Shutterstock, Automattic and Expa filed a petition Monday in a US Court of Appeals as part of a group called the Coalition for Internet Openness. The group is challenging the Federal Communications Commission's move to repeal regulations governing net neutrality, the idea that all internet traffic be treated the same.

"The fight for net neutrality is the fight for civil liberties, and a more vibrant culture," Candace Martin, commercial counsel at Kickstarter, said in a statement. "Without it, the free and equal exchange of ideas is at risk."

Last month, the FCC officially published its repeal of the rules, which started a 60-day clock. The repeal is set to take effect April 23. The FCC's action has set off legal challenges.

Nearly two dozen state attorneys general have filed suit to keep the net neutrality rules in place. Tech companies including Mozilla, maker of the Firefox browser, have also filed petitions, along with public interest groups. In addition, the Internet Association, a lobbying group that represents tech giants like Amazon, Facebook and Google, said in early January that it would work to preserve net neutrality.

States like New York, New Jersey and Montana are even coming up with their own regulations to try to keep net neutrality alive.

The FCC didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, speaking at Mobile World Congress last week, defended the rollback, arguing that "light-touch regulation" would lead to innovation and investments in the wireless industry.

The Coalition for Internet Openness filed its petition in the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. You can read it below. 

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