Published: Fri, February 23, 2018
Tech | By Constance Martin

Net Neutrality Activists Will Sue to Block Net Neutrality's Repeal

Net Neutrality Activists Will Sue to Block Net Neutrality's Repeal

The agency took the requisite formal step of publishing the rules on Thursday, opening the door for lawsuits from a number of state attorneys general and advocacy groups.

Net neutrality is the idea that all traffic on the internet is treated equally.

The landmark net neutrality rules had been delivered under the former Obama administration, and essentially it barred service providers from blocking, slowing access to or charging more for certain content. In a February 22 release, the agency sent out "final notice" that Obama-era rules governing equal distribution of the internet will be repealed in 60 days.

Opponents of the FCC's vote have vowed to fight back-and now they can. Net neutrality advocates argue that the rules are essential for an open and competitive internet.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai speaks ahead of the commission's vote on net neutrality rules, December 14, 2017.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who voted against the repeal, said in a statement released Thursday that the FCC has "failed the American public". "It failed to listen to their concerns and gave short shrift to their deeply held belief that internet openness should remain law of the land".

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"It turned a blind eye to all kinds of corruption in our public record - from Russian intervention to fake comments to stolen identities in our files", she said.

The order will be officially published tomorrow in the Federal Register. It's far more likely that the repeal will go into effect in 60 days as planned, giving internet service providers (ISPs) the ability to take advantage of the FCC's decision while any lawsuits make their way through the court system. He also eked out support from one Republican, Sen.

Markey's proposed block to the bill falls under authority granted to lawmakers under the Congressional Review Act. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) claimed in January that he has a 50-vote majority in the Senate to pass such a repeal through Congress' upper chamber. Sen.

Over 20 states have also filed petitions in the courts opposing the repeal of net neutrality.

In addition to NY, attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington joined Thursday's petition.

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