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Published On: Mon, Oct 1st, 2018

California passes Net Neutrality regulations, sparking DOJ investigation

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday signed into law the strictest set of net neutrality regulations ever seen in the US and the Trump administration immediately said it’d challenge the state’s authority in court.

The Democratic governor signed a bill that uses Obama-era net neutrality protections as the basis for state law. The new law prohibits internet service providers from slowing or blocking access to websites or charging companies like Netflix extra to deliver their service faster.

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The California law goes further, outlawing so-called zero-rating offers, which allow carriers to exempt certain services from counting against a user’s data cap. It also applies the net neutrality rules to so-called “interconnection” deals between network operators, something the FCC’s 2015 rules didn’t explicitly do.

The Department of Justice alleges state legislators are attempting to “subvert the Federal Government’s deregulatory approach.”

The suit was announced jointly by representatives of the Justice Department and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

“Under the Constitution, states do not regulate interstate commerce — the federal government does,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “The Justice Department should not have to spend valuable time and resources to file this suit today, but we have a duty to defend the prerogatives of the federal government and protect our Constitutional order.”

“The internet is inherently an interstate information service,” Pai said in a statement. “As such, only the federal government can set policy in this area.”

California State Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, who authored the legislation, said he’s confident California will successfully defend itself against the government’s lawsuit.

“We’ve been down this road before: when Trump and Sessions sued California and claimed we lacked the power to protect immigrants,” he said in a statement. “California fought Trump and Sessions on their immigration lawsuit — California won — and California will fight this lawsuit as well.”

The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that as of August 27th, legislators from 30 states have introduced over 72 bills around various net neutrality principles. Governors in six states have signed executive orders, and Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have already adopted their own net neutrality rules following the FCC’s reversal.

“Once we establish California as a model of a state taking action, other states may follow, and then I think you may see some of corporate America say ‘OK, let’s have a federal law, because we don’t want to have to do different things in different states,’” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference in San Francisco, Politico reported.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra attacked the Trump Administration for ignoring the “millions” of Americans opposed to net neutrality’s repeal and said that California “will not allow a handful of power brokers to dictate sources for information or the speed at which websites load.”

photo/ kai kalhh

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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