MA joins multi-state net-neutrality lawsuit

Adjust Comment Print

That's a step in the right direction, but with a Republican-controlled House and Donald Trump in the White House, it nearly certainly won't lead to legislative victory for net neutrality.

"The repeal of net neutrality would turn internet service providers into gatekeepers, allowing them to put profits over consumers while controlling what we see, what we do and what we say online", said New York Atty. The lawsuit is led by Schneiderman, and filed by the attorneys general of New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.

Software maker Mozilla Corp. filed a separate lawsuit Tuesday to block the FCC change, saying in a blog entry that "ending net neutrality could end the internet as we know it". The rule is not expected to take effect for several months, but soon after that vote, state attorneys general pledged to sue the commission.

"While we believe that under the best reading of the rules the FCC's Order is not ripe for challenge until it is published in the Federal Register, in the past the judicial lottery-which determines which appellate court will hear a challenge to an FCC action-has been run based on premature petitions". So far, 50 senators have agreed to support a resolution that would do that, one short of the majority needed for passage in that chamber.

Democrats in the Senate will force a vote on a simple repeal of the FCC's repeal, using the same law, the Congressional Review Act, that Congress used to undo the Obama-era internet privacy rules. Still, even if they succeed, they would need the House of Representatives to pass a similar measure and get President Donald Trump to sign it.

More: Net neutrality: The FCC voted to end it.

The FCC order bars states and cities from imposing rules on broadband providers that contradict the FCC's plan.

Lawmakers in states like New York, Washington and MA have also proposed bills in recent weeks to enforce the principles of net neutrality within their borders.

They argued the tougher oversight led to reduced investment in broadband networks - a point net neutrality supporters dispute.