White House Forced To Reckon With End Of Net Neutrality

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President Obama will now have to show just how "deeply" he cares about net neutrality.

The White House petition to restore net neutrality -- which requires internet service providers to treat all content equally -- snared the 100,000+ signatures necessary to get an official response from the White House.

When a federal court struck down an FCC order requiring net neutrality last month, much of the Internet freaked out. Supports of net neutrality -- including everyone from the ACLU to Netflix -- say that the Web would be a terrible place without it.

Without net neutrality, bigger companies would be able to pay to get their sites to work faster and people might have to pay different amounts to see different content online. Want to watch Netflix or listen to Spotify? You might have to pay extra to include access to those sites in your Internet package.

And last week Obama himself took a stand on the issue.

"It's something that I've cared deeply about ever since I ran for office, in part because my own campaign was empowered by a free and open Internet and the ability for citizens all across the country to engage and create and find new ways and new tools to mobilize themselves," President Obama said Friday during a Google hangout. "The FCC is looking at all the options at their disposal," he said.

Now he'll likely have to make another statement. Unfortunately, there's little the White House can actually do to restore neutrality. Obama can't do much more than encourage the FCC to make the right decision. "We live under a system in which when a court rules, we have to respect that ruling initially," Obama said during the Google hangout, adding that he is unable to "meddle in decision making there."

This is not the first petition calling for the reinstatement of net neutrality. Last week activists brought 1 million signed petitions urging the return of net neutrality to an FCC meeting.

This petition on net neutrality is just one of many recent ones that the White House is meant to respond to, some more serious than others. One petition recent petition urges the government to deport Justin Bieber, and has more than 242,000 signatures. The White House has yet to respond to either petition.

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