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Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC Urges FCC to Protect Interests of Asian Americans on the Internet

Jul 15, 2014
July 15, 2014
CONTACT: Kelsey Crow
202-499-7027 x. 107
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC Urges FCC to
Protect Interests of Asian Americans on the Internet
FCC Open Internet Proposals Makes Significant Strides to
Promote an Open Internet But Additional Protections Needed
WASHINGTON—Today, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC (Advancing Justice | AAJC) submitted preliminary comments regarding the Federal Communications Commission's proposals to protect and promote an open Internet, also known as "net neutrality" rules.
"Our comments today reaffirm our values as a civil rights organization and that we believe in the importance of a diversity of voices and freedom of speech, including being able to share your stories and access all speakers on the Internet," said Mee Moua, president and executive director of Advancing Justice | AAJC. "As civil rights advocates, we stand against discrimination and support fairness and equity, whether it is in traditional settings or in the digital age." 
"The Asian American community greatly benefits from the Internet ecosystem. It levels the playing field for minority voices and entrepreneurs, empowers and promotes integration of our community, supports the production and distribution of culturally and linguistically relevant content and provides economic opportunity."
The Commission's proposed rules seek to ensure Internet service providers (ISPs) do not block Internet users' abilities to access legal content from websites, or edge providers, on the Internet. The rules also set forth a "commercially reasonable" standard that prohibits ISPs, based on the totality of the circumstances, from practices that harm the openness of the Internet and all the benefits that follow from the free flow of ideas and information on the web, including investment, innovation and deployment of broadband networks. 
"The commercially reasonable standard allows for certain forms of pay-for-prioritization, where an edge provider pays an ISP to prioritize its content to the ISP's end users," said Jason T. Lagria, Advancing Justice | AAJC senior staff attorney. "While we support the Commission's effort to craft net neutrality rules, we are concerned the standard does not sufficiently protect the interests of minority entrepreneurs with limited resources and the communities that rely on their content."
"Collectively, Asian Americans have the highest rate of Internet usage and spend more time surfing the web and viewing online videos than any other group. The Internet allows Asian Americans to access culturally and linguistically relevant content that mainstream media does not provide. Asian Americans also want content with people that resemble us and the Internet has evolved to meet these needs." Advancing Justice | AAJC recognizes that while some forms of prioritization may be beneficial, the Commission should explicitly consider and protect against the negative impact of paid prioritization on minority communities. 
"We look forward to working with the Commission to develop policies that ensure the interests of the Asian American and other minority communities are met," said Moua.