California's 'gold standard' net neutrality becomes law

01 October, 2018, 23:25 | Author: Frank Williams
  • Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Sacramento Calif. California has become the first state to require publicly traded companies to include women on their boards of director

California is now set to wage a legal battle against the federal regulator that will decide the outcome of state-level net neutrality in the entire country.

Net neutrality has become a rallying cry for liberal activists and younger Americans, who complain of corporate priorities they say are at odds with what they want to see in internet governance.

State legislators began working on the bill when the Trump administration began to scale back net neutrality regulations a year ago, with many Democrats viewing the legislation as a victory against the White House.

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".

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will defend the federal government's position.

"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", Wiener said in a statement.

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The law also prohibits carriers from demanding special new fees from websites, and it bars Internet providers from selectively exempting their preferred apps from customer data caps.

Brown did not explain his reasons for signing the bill or comment on the federal lawsuit Sunday night.

Pai again pointed to a recent decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit that he argues "reaffirmed that state regulation of information services is preempted by federal law". Like the 2015 Open Internet Order that was repealed in 2017, the bill also bans ISPs from charging websites to load for the ISPs subscribers or using the point where data enters the ISPs network to evade net neutrality.

"This is a big day for net neutrality", said Robert Cruickshank, campaign director at the advocacy group Demand Progress.

Net neutrality vote: Why all the fuss?

"An agency that has no power to regulate has no power to preempt the states", she said. Now, the question is: Will the House support net neutrality, or will it - or President Donald Trump - shovel dirt on net neutrality's grave? Thirty other states are debating net neutrality measures of their own. The USTelecom trade group, representing telecommunications firms in the states, said Sunday that "Rather than 50 states stepping in with their own conflicting open internet solutions, we need Congress to step up with a national framework for the whole internet ecosystem and resolve this issue once and for all".

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