Thursday, 18 October, 2018

DOJ Sues CA Over New Law Protecting Discarded Net Neutrality Rules

California's 'gold standard' net neutrality becomes law CA gov. signs net neutrality bill into law, Justice Department sues
Beatrice Douglas | 02 October, 2018, 13:16

The debate surrounding net neutrality is going to court.The United States Justice Department is suing the state of California over their new net neutrality law.

But legal experts say it's possible a judge will put the law on hold while the litigation plays out.

Other organizations opposed California taking net neutrality into its own hands, including Jonathan Spalter, president and CEO of the U.S. Telecom Association.

The Justice Department is suing California to block a recently signed law restoring net neutrality rules that the Federal Communications Commission discarded a year ago.

In addition to forbidding internet service providers from slowing down or blocking access to websites or charging companies like Netflix extra to deliver their service faster, the California law also outlaws so-called zero-rating offers, which allow carriers to exempt certain services from counting against a user's data cap.

"Once again the California Legislature has enacted an extreme and illegal state law attempting to frustrate federal policy", U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. Past year the FCC repealed the rules that prevented internet companies from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet. The new law is considered the strictest set of net neutrality protections to date.

Net neutrality advocates worry that without rules, internet providers could create fast lanes and slow lanes that favor their own sites and apps or make it harder for consumers to see content from competitors. "Other states should follow California's lead, and Congress should pass the joint resolution to reverse the FCC's resoundingly unpopular repeal".


A new law requires publicly traded companies headquartered in California, including Facebook and Google, to include women on their board of directors.

But with net neutrality, Martin said the FCC insists it remains the sole regulatory authority despite its deregulatory actions.

Consequently, numerous other 25-odd states mulling over passing their own net-neutrality laws are undoubtedly going to keep tabs on the outcome of this trial, making this crucial to the fate of net-neutrality in the U.S.

Consumer advocacy groups touted the law as offering the strongest internet protections in the country.

The law applies to companies that report having their principal executive offices in California. They say it's unrealistic to expect them to comply with internet regulations that differ from state to state.

Lyons wasn't optimistic that was occurring any time soon.

"Despite their army of lobbyists and millions spent lining the pockets of legislators, these companies continue to lose ground in the face of overwhelming cross-partisan opposition to their greedy attacks on our Internet freedom", she added. "I don't see it happening in the near future".

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