New California internet neutrality law sparks United States lawsuit

02 October, 2018, 13:14 | Author: Elena Summers
  • California's 'gold standard' net neutrality becomes law

FILE PHOTO: California Governor Jerry Brown delivers his final state of the state address in Sacramento, California, U.S., January 25, 2018.

USA attorney general Jeff Sessions said in a statement that "states do not regulate interstate commerce - the federal government does", after California became the largest state to enact its own rules requiring internet providers to treat all web traffic equally.

In March, Brown accused the Trump administration of essentially declaring war on the most populous USA state after the Justice Department sued to stop policies that protect illegal immigrants against deportation.

The California Chamber of Commerce has argued that the composition of corporate boards should be determined internally, not mandated by government.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who led the effort to reverse net neutrality, said in a statement that "not only is California's internet regulation law illegal, it also hurts consumers". The constitutionality of California's law - and whether other states can adopt their own net neutrality rules - depends heavily on the outcome of a pending case in a Washington, D.C., federal appeals court, van Schewick said.

The US Justice Department on Sunday sued California to force it to abandon a law, passed earlier in the day, to protect "net neutrality" aimed at requiring all online data to be treated equally. The chamber said the new law will prioritize gender over other aspects of diversity, such as race and ethnicity.

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"Given all the special privileges that corporations have enjoyed for so long, it's high time corporate boards include the people who constitute more than half the "persons" in America", Brown said in a statement after signing the bill into law. Oral arguments are set for February 1.

A free and open internet is a cornerstone of 21st century life: "our democracy, our economy, our health care and public safety systems, and day-to-day activities", said Democratic Sen.

However, Attorney General Jeff Sessions quickly reiterated the federal government is the only authority that can rule on net neutrality policies.

Net neutrality advocates worry that without the rules, internet providers could create fast lanes and slow lanes that favour their own sites and apps or make it harder for consumers to see content from competitors. But this bill is neither the way to get there, nor will it help advance the promise and potential of California's innovation DNA.

The new law bans interconnection fees and has a "zero-rating" rule, which means telecom companies would exempt certain applications or services from counting toward a consumers data cap. According to the National Conference of State Legislators, almost one hundred bills and resolutions have been introduced throughout the United States.


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