It’s Antitrust Day and the stakes are incredibly high

A big power shift happened, from Internet users to Big Tech

I’ve been doing online activism for Internet freedom since the early 2000s, as the Internet broke free from the damage of the Microsoft monopoly, through the honeymoon period of 2011/2012 when it seemed like the Internet could do anything, and I’m still fighting today.

This power shift from Internet users to Big Tech happened on the web

First, policymakers and regulators stood by while the biggest tech companies made their platforms less open to competing products. The Google search results page turned from a clean list of results with some ads on the side into a full page of ads and Google products. Amazon results filled with ads and Amazon’s own products. Facebook made it increasingly difficult for other apps to integrate with Messenger, and so on.

An even bigger power shift from Internet users to Big Tech happened on mobile

An even bigger moment was when regulators stood by and let Apple, and to a much lesser extent Google, control what software could run on mobile devices.

Finally, we have an opportunity for Internet users to take their power back

Right now, miraculously, there are two bills in Congress that would meaningfully shift power away from Big Tech and back to Internet users.

The Open App Markets Act (OAMA)

The Open App Markets Act (OAMA) addresses the power shift on mobile, by banning the above-described shenanigans that Apple and, again to much a lesser extent, Google use to assert their power over mobile.

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA)

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act addresses the problem of Big Tech making their platforms less open to competing products. Specifically it addresses self-preferencing and interoperability.

Both bills are doing well and have a chance of passing

While they face stiff opposition from the most powerful companies in the world (Tim Cook has been personally calling lawmakers to lobby against the bills!) these bills are not optimistic longshots. They really have a chance of passing.

We can all do something to make sure these bills pass

The first and most basic thing you can do is write and then call your members of Congress. You can do both of these things at the tool Fight for the Future created here: AntitrustDay.org.

This is a rare chance for all of us to take major action for a better internet

Back in the mid 2000s, as Web 2.0 started to bring us out of the worst of the Microsoft era, when Firefox, VLC, and Bittorrent were among the most popular desktop apps, software felt like it was on our side. And it was, because free, open source projects just cared about working well.

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Fight for the Future

Fight for the Future

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We believe there's hardly anything as important as ensuring that our shared future has freedom of expression and creativity at its core.