Advocates for "net neutrality" took to the skies Friday to "meow" trash following the federal government's move yesterday to block broadband providers from manipulating the speed of online content that travels over their networks.
To celebrate the legal victory, the activists had a plane tow a 2,000 square-foot banner past Comcast's Philadelphia headquarters that featured a picture of Grumpy Cat, the feline Internet celebrity, and that read "Comcast: Don't Mess With the Internet." The banner also displayed the hashtags #SorryNotSorry and #NetNeutrality.
The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to regulate the Internet under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act, which will let the agency pass rules that restrict Internet service providers like Comcast, AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) from creating paid "fast lanes" for web traffic or otherwise slowing content.
"This is a victory of the Internet, by the Internet and for the Internet," said David Segal, executive director of Demand Progress, one of the groups behind the stunt. "Comcast and cable allies spent big for the right to degrade the very service they provide to their customers, and they tried to ignore the millions of public comments in support of Net Neutrality. But they can't ignore the FCC's vote yesterday -- or a plane flying over their corporate headquarters today."
Comcast and other ISPs have blasted the FCC's decision, accusing the government of applying outdated regulations designed for telephone companies to the Internet arena.
Grumpy Cat -- real name Tarder Sauce -- emerged as an Internet sensation in 2013 when her photo became popular on social media.