New California internet neutrality law sparks U.S. lawsuit

02 October, 2018, 13:14 | Author: Larry Hoffman
  • Female sitting at board meeting

Democratic state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, one of the sponsors of the bill, said the law was necessary because only 75 percent of California-based companies have a woman on their boards, "despite numerous independent studies that show companies with women on their board are more profitable and productive".

An equal playing field that prevents internet companies from slowing down or blocking some content was signed into law by California Gov. The Justice Department also said the new bill goes against the federal government's "de-regulatory approach to the internet".

The majority of Americans want the rules to return, and many states are attempting to legislate net neutrality. "And it's a beacon of hope for Internet users everywhere who are fighting for the basic right to express themselves and access information without cable and phone companies controlling what they can see and do online", said Greer.

Rules governing online access have undergone numerous court challenges and regulatory moves over the past decade, and in December the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 along party lines to reverse a 2015 order which established net neutrality. However, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit an hour after it was greenlighted by Brown, seeking to block one of the toughest net-neutrality laws ever to have been passed in the US.

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California's net neutrality law may have been inspired by the problems they encountered during their horrific wildfires this summer. Brown's signing on Sunday night. Oral arguments are set for February 1.

The Federal Communications Commission past year repealed rules that prevented internet companies from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet.

Telecommunications companies lobbied hard to kill it or water it down, saying it would lead to higher internet and cellphone bills and discourage investments in faster internet.

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.

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The DOJ is not the only ones moving to stop this new law.

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.

Senator Scott Weiner, who introduced the proposal in the state assembly, believes that California can defend itself - and the bill - in court, citing past skirmishes against the Trump administration with regards to immigration policies.

"It is well established that states have the authority to protect the health, welfare and safety of their own residents, that's why they have their own police forces, national guard, state attorney general and their own consumer protection laws, Martin said".

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