DOJ Sues CA Over New Law Protecting Discarded Net Neutrality Rules

Muriel Colon
October 1, 2018

The United States Telecom Association said in a statement it supports strong net neutrality protections but thinks the matter should be left to the federal government. The Department of Justice on Sunday night sued California over its new new neutrality law.

The law also marks the latest challenge between Brown's administration and President Donald Trump's Republicans, who have already clashed over environmental and immigration regulations.

Jerry Brown signed the nation's toughest net neutrality measure Sunday, requiring internet providers to maintain a level playing field online, and on the same day, the Justice Department responded by filing a lawsuit against California.

In March, Brown accused the Trump administration of essentially declaring war on the most populous US state after the Justice Department sued to stop policies that protect illegal immigrants against deportation. The law also prohibits carriers from demanding special new fees from websites, and it bars Internet providers from selectively exempting their preferred apps from customer data caps. -Evan Greer, Fight for the FutureEvan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, was among those championing the tireless work of activists, organizers, and regular citizens who pushed the bill in California and have been working to restore net neutrality protections nationwide since FCC chairman Ajit Pai, a former Verizon lobbyist and appointed by President Donald Trump, led the effort to destroy them on behalf of the telecom industry past year.

The Trump administration's net neutrality repeal was a win for providers like Comcast Corp, AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc, but it was opposed by internet companies like Facebook Inc, Inc and Alphabet Inc.

The Trump-era FCC repealed net neutrality earlier this year and it has become a political issue.

Jonathan Spalter, who heads USTelecom, an industry trade group, said California's law will not "help advance the promise and potential of California's innovation DNA". An identical bill was introduced in NY.

Net neutrality vote: Why all the fuss?

Pai said he was "pleased" to see the federal government's lawsuit, and that "The Internet is free and open today, and it will continue to be under the light-touch protections of the FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom Order".

"We are confident that we will prevail in this case - because the facts are on our side", Sessions said.

California joins OR and Washington as states that have successfully passed a net neutrality bill.

In August, 22 states and a coalition of trade groups representing major tech companies urged a federal appeals court to reinstate the rules.

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