California governor resurrects Obama-era net-neutrality law, defying Trump administration

02 October, 2018, 13:15 | Author: Julian Harrison
  • Female sitting at board meeting

- A U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit could delay the rollout of California's toughest-in-the country net neutrality law, which is set to take effect January 1.

Up against a midnight deadline, Brown, a Democrat, signed a bill Sunday that makes the Obama-era net neutrality protections state law.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra swiftly criticised the DOJ action saying the Trump Administration continues to ignore the "millions of Americans who voiced strong support for net neutrality rules, California - home to countless start-ups, tech giants and almost 40 million consumers - will not allow a handful of power brokers to dictate sources for information or the speed at which websites load".

Many conservatives and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai have also spoken out against net neutrality, arguing it would do more harm than good.

A new law requires publicly traded companies headquartered in California, including Facebook and Google, to include women on their board of directors. USTelecom, which represents companies in the broadband sector, said it supports net neutrality but disagreed with the California law.

But the Justice Department said the law runs afoul of the U.S. Constitution, which gives the federal government the power to set rules for interstate commerce - and that, they said, means the internet.

Net neutrality prohibits the blocking of sites or services for competitive reasons, and bans "fast" and "slow" lanes for different kinds of online traffic.




Brown stopped short on Sunday of making California the first state to mandate public colleges and universities offer abortion medication at their health centers.

But with net neutrality, Martin said the FCC insists it remains the sole regulatory authority despite its deregulatory actions. "We will do so with vigor", said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The bill, SB 826, was authored by state senator Hannah-Beth Jackson who noted that research shows that women tend to be more collaborative and better multitaskers.

Consumer advocacy groups touted the law as offering the strongest internet protections in the country.

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.

"Despite their army of lobbyists and millions spent lining the pockets of legislators, these companies continue to lose ground in the face of overwhelming cross-partisan opposition to their greedy attacks on our Internet freedom", she added. "Net neutrality, at its core, is the basic notion that we each get to decide where we go on the internet, as opposed to having that decision made for us by internet service providers". "I don't see it happening in the near future".

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