U.S. Justice Department Sues California Over Net Neutrality Law

U.S. Justice Department Sues California Over Net Neutrality Law

California joins OR and Washington as states that have successfully passed a net neutrality bill. The California legislature moved the bill to the governor's desk on September 11.

The Justice Department nearly immediately filed its lawsuit, arguing Senate Bill 822 interferes with the federal government's deregulatory approach to the internet, according to a statement.

The government said that California sought to "second-guess" the federal government and warned "the effect of this state legislation would be to nullify federal law across the country". "We are confident that we will prevail in this case-because the facts are on our side", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

The battle over net neutrality rages on as the Department of Justice goes after the state of California for signing a bill on the issue.

"Under the Constitution, states do not regulate interstate commerce - the federal government does".

Under the Obama administration, the Federal Communications Commission imposed net neutrality restrictions in 2015. California is one of the first states to truly provoke the FCC.

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"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.

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. Once again the California legislature has enacted an extreme and illegal state law attempting to frustrate federal policy".

Other organizations opposed California taking net neutrality into its own hands, including Jonathan Spalter, president and CEO of the U.S. Telecom Association.

USTelecom, a telecommunications trade group, said California writing its own rules will create problems.

California is celebrating the passing of what are considered to be the toughest net neutrality regulations in the land, even more so than the original net neutrality rules that the FCC reversed earlier this year, but they may not stand up in court.

Sen. Weiner and other legislators worked with the office of the state attorney general - who has been tasked with the evaluation of those who may try to evade these new rules - to ensure that SB 822 is defensible in court, both against telecom giants like Comcast and Verizon, and the federal government.