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Schneiderman files suit to stop 'illegal' rollback of net neutrality


Tue, Jan 16th 2018 05:35 pm
AG leads coalition of 22 attorneys general in filing petition for review, formally commencing lawsuit 
On Tuesday, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman led a coalition of 22 attorneys general in filing a multistate lawsuit to block what he called the Federal Communications Commission's illegal rollback of net neutrality. The coalition filed a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, formally commencing the lawsuit against the FCC and the federal government.
"An open internet - and the free exchange of ideas it allows - is critical to our democratic process," Schneiderman said. "The repeal of net neutrality would turn internet service providers into gatekeepers - allowing them to put profits over consumers while controlling what we see, what we do, and what we say online. This would be a disaster for New York consumers and businesses, and for everyone who cares about a free and open internet. That's why I'm proud to lead this broad coalition of 22 attorneys general in filing suit to stop the FCC's illegal rollback of net neutrality."
Click here to read the petition. The lawsuit is led by Schneiderman, and filed by the attorneys general of New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.
The AG said the repeal of net neutrality would have dire consequences for consumers and businesses in New York and across the country that rely on a free and open internet - allowing internet service providers to block certain content, charge consumers more to access certain sites, and throttle or slow the quality of content from content providers that don't pay more.
He said that, under the Administrative Procedure Act, the FCC cannot make "arbitrary and capricious" changes to existing policies, such as net neutrality. The FCC's new rule, the AG said, fails to justify the commission's departure from its long-standing policy and practice of defending net neutrality, while misinterpreting and disregarding critical record evidence on industry practices and harm to consumers and businesses (which were detailed in Schneiderman's comments submitted last year). Moreover, he said the rule wrongly reclassifies broadband internet as a Title I information service, rather than a Title II telecommunications service, based on an erroneous and unreasonable interpretation of the Telecommunications Act. Finally, the AG said the rule improperly and unlawfully includes sweeping pre-emption of state and local laws.

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