Friday, August 17, 2018

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Wave of lawsuits filed to block net neutrality repeal

Wave of lawsuits against beings against the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net-neutrality rules

  • Net-Neutrality-Lawsuit

    FILE - In this Dec. 14, 2017, file photo, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai arrives for an FCC meeting on net neutrality, in Washington. A group of 22 state attorneys general has sued to block the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net-neutrality rules. These rules barred companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from interfering with internet traffic and favoring their own sites and apps. Pai’s push to undo them inspired both street and online protests in defense of the Obama-era rules. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

    Jacquelyn Martin

  • Net-Neutrality-Lawsuit-1

    FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, file photo, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman speaks at a news conference in New York. A group of 22 state attorneys general has sued to block the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net-neutrality rules. Schneiderman, who is leading the suit, said Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, that the end of the net neutrality rules would hurt consumers and businesses. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

    Seth Wenig

NEW YORK — The expected wave of litigation against the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net-neutrality rules has begun.

A group of attorneys general for 21 states and the District of Columbia sued Tuesday to block the rules. So did Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox browser, and New America’s Open Technology Institute. Other public-interest groups are expected to file suit as well, and the tech-industry lobbying group has said it will support litigation.

The rules barred companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from interfering with internet traffic and favoring their own sites and apps. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s push to undo them inspired both street and online protests in defense of the Obama-era rules.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is leading the suit, said Tuesday that the end of the net neutrality rules would hurt consumers and businesses.

FCC spokesman Brian Hart declined to comment on the litigation.

The lawsuits are part of a multi-pronged approach against the net-neutrality repeal. There are efforts by Democrats to undo the repeal in Congress. State lawmakers have also introduced bills to protect net neutrality in their own states. However, the FCC’s order bars state laws from contradicting the federal government’s approach.

The other attorneys general participating in the lawsuit are from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia and Washington.

The parties may have to file suit again after the FCC’s order is published in the Federal Register. That hasn’t happened yet. The different suits may also be consolidated.


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