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September 8, 2014

48 hours until world’s largest porn sites ‘go slow’

Redtube and Pornhub join hundreds of other sites in "in your face" net neutrality protest.

By Ben Sullivan

Pornhub and Redtube, two pornography websites, will take part in an international ‘go-slow’ day of action which is planned to take place on September 10.

Joining the ranks of many other websites such as Mozilla, Etsy and Reddit, the day of action is a large-scale online protest against the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), which could move to let internet providers prioritise traffic, creating fast lanes for select customers.

There has been wide-scale opposition to these plans, with critics claiming the the move would end net neutrality and allow larger, more wealthy providers to kill off competition.

A Pornhub spokeswoman told Reddit: "We’ll be displaying an official widget from battleforthenet.com. We won’t be shutting down or streaming your porn slower. There will be a big in your face message that users will need to close. We hope to reach around 50 million people on Sept 10th."

Firms such as Google, Amazon and Facebook have all spoken out against the FCC’s proposals to priorotise traffic from customers who pay more, but have yet to say whether or not they will be participating in the protest on September 10.

The sites taking part in the protest will display prominent messages on their homepages, with some showing a spinning loading icon that will be never ending, symbolising a slow connection speed. The messages will then direct visitors to a website which has contacts for policymakers in Washington, urging visitors to make the US Government aware of their disapproval.

The FCC is debating reclassifying broadband in the US as a telecommunciations service. The move would give the FCC increased power on how the broadband industry is run.

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In May, a coalition of some of tech’s biggest companies also attacked the FCC’s plans. In an open letter, the tech companies expressed the necessity for a "free and open internet."

The letter was signed by Amazon, Dropbox, Ebay, Facebook, Google, Kickstarter, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netfix, Reddit, Tumblr, Twitter and Yahoo, plus over 100 more.

"Instead of permitting individualised bargaining and discrimination, the Commission’s rules should protect users and internet companies on both fixed and mobile platforms against blocking, discrimination, and paid prioritisation, and should make the market for internet services more transparent," the letter said.

It goes on to say: "This Commission should take the necessary steps to ensure that the Internet remains an open platform for speech and commerce so that America continues to lead the world in technology markets."

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