DOJ's lawsuit may delay California's new net neutrality law

Joshua Bennett
October 2, 2018

The U.S. Department of Justice sued immediately, arguing that the federal government has exclusive authority to regulate the internet.

Yesterday one of the toughest net neutrality bills now being considered in the United States was signed into law by the Governor of California. Jerry Brown speaks at a forum in Sacramento, Calif.

He added, "once again the California legislature has enacted an extreme and illegal state law attempting to frustrate federal policy".

Boston College of Law professor Dan Lyons said federal lawmakers are key to settling the argument between the FCC and California and other states seeking to set up their own rules.

The lawsuit filed Sunday by the U.S. Department of Justice came roughly an hour after Gov.

The net-neutrality rule forbids all internet providers, such as cable and telephone companies, from prioritizing their own content by slowing down or speeding up certain websites and charging more for certain services.

Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Sunday to restore net neutrality rules that were established during the Obama administration
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The Federal Communications Commission past year repealed rules preventing internet companies from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet.

Ajit Pai, the Trump-appointed head of the FCC who was responsible for the repeal of these federal-level laws in June, reaffirmed the preemption of federal law against state regulation.

"It is well established that states have the authority to protect the health, welfare and safety of their own residents, that's why they have their own police forces, national guard, state attorney general and their own consumer protection laws, Martin said". USTelecom, which represents companies in the broadband sector, said it supports net neutrality but disagreed with the California law. This means that the California state government doesn't get to pass bills that conflict directly with the ones the federal government has passed.

"Gov. Jerry Brown has just restored a free and open internet to the 40 million people of California - the world's fifth largest economy and home to many major tech companies". According to the National Conference of State Legislators, almost one hundred bills and resolutions have been introduced throughout the United States. However, most of these laws do not go against FCC regulations.

In a letter to the California State Senate that was copied to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Governor Brown explained his reasoning for signing the bill despite potential legal challenges: "Recent events in Washington, D.C. - and beyond - make it crystal clear that many are not getting the message". "While the Trump Administration does everything in its power to undermine our democracy, we in California will continue to do what's right for our residents". California fought Trump and Sessions on their immigration lawsuit.

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