New California internet neutrality law sparks U.S. lawsuit

Gerardo Harmon
October 2, 2018

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 Evan Greer (pronouns: "she/her), deputy director of Fight for the Future, the digital rights group that played a leading role in passing SB 822 and bringing national attention to the bill. The new law is considered the strictest set of net neutrality protections to date. The California legislature moved the bill to the governor's desk on September 11. Attorney Jeff Sessions said in a statement, "under the Constitution, states do not regulate interstate commerce-the federal government does".

The US Justice Department on Sunday sued California to force it to abandon a law, passed earlier in the day, to protect "net neutrality" aimed at requiring all online data to be treated equally.

Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Sunday to restore net neutrality rules that were established during the Obama administration
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The law also marks the latest challenge between Brown's administration and President Donald Trump's Republicans, who have already clashed over environmental and immigration regulations. A hefty thank you to the Golden State for your effort to get right what the @FCC got so wrong when it rolled back open internet protections late a year ago. Past year the FCC repealed the rules that prevented internet companies from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet. He complained that the California regulation would hurt consumers, arguing for instance, that it disallows many free-data plans allowing consumers to stream content exempt from data limits. "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". Connie Leyva, D-Chino, would have required university health centers to offer women medical abortions on campus by January 1, 2022.

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

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The U.S. Senate voted in May to reinstate the net neutrality rules, but the measure is unlikely to be approved by the House of Representatives and the White House also opposes it.

USTelecom, which represents companies like AT&T and Verizon, on Sunday said the California measure would not "help advance the promise and potential of California's innovation DNA", calling on 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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The FCC in December handed ISPs sweeping new powers to recast how Americans use the internet, as long as they disclose changes.

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