California, Washington and NY take action after net neutrality vote – CNET


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California, Washington, NY take steps after net neutrality vote

After the FCC votes down Obama-era rules, lawmakers from the three states say they’ll fight to maintain net neutrality.

Politicians from California, Washington and New York said Thursday that they’ll fight to preserve net neutrality, after the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal rules designed to ensure that online traffic is treated equally.

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Several states, including California, Washington and New York plan fight back against the FCC’s net neutrality repeal. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

California state senator Scott Wiener said shortly after the FCC’s vote he will seek legislation requiring net neutrality in the state. The Democrat from San Francisco said in a post on Medium he plans formally introduce a bill early next year.  

“California can regulate business practices to require net neutrality, condition state contracts on adhering to net neutrality, and require net neutrality as part of cable franchise agreements, as a condition to using the public right-of-way for internet infrastructure, and in broadband packages,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that he’s suing over the net neutrality repeal, citing the federal government violated the Administrative Procedure Act.

“Allowing internet service providers to discriminate based on content undermines a free and open internet. Today’s action will seriously harm consumers, innovation and small businesses,” he said. 

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman also plans to file a lawsuit, saying the FCC gave telecom companies an early Christmas present by giving internet service providers yet another way to put corporate profits over consumers.

“Today’s rollback will give ISPs new ways to control what we see, what we do, and what we say online,” he said in a statement. “That’s a threat to the free exchange of ideas that’s made the Internet a valuable asset in our democratic process.”

The FCC narrowly voted to get rid of the regulations which guaranteed traffic on the internet was treated equally, halting broadband and wireless providers from blocking or slowing online content. The FCC also voted to eliminate the legal foundation granting the agency oversight over internet service providers. 

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Thursday that repealing net neutrality “is not going to end the internet as we know it. It is not going to kill democracy.”

Nonprofit organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Media Alliance and the Free Press have also threatened to sue the FCC over the move.

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