The DOJ sues California over its new net-neutrality law

The Trump administration has alleged California's newly signed net-neutrality law is an "attempt to subvert the Federal Government's deregulatory approach"

1Oct

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that it is filing a law suit against the state of California following its decision to reinstate a state-wide iteration of the recently dismantled federal net-neutrality law.

The net-neutrality law, which had been passed by the Obama administration, was created under the generally agreed upon principle that internet traffic should be a fair and equal resource for everyone. However, further plans to instill more tangible laws, which would see the internet viewed as a resource in a similar vein to other public resources such as telephone networks, was opposed by the Republican party.


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After the Trump administration took power, his newly appointed FCC chairman Ajit Pai began the controversial task of dismantling all net-neutrality laws in place, claiming they were "a mistake".

Once the FCC had successfully removed the existing laws, Democratic senator Scott Wiener introduced Senate Bill 822 with the intention of reinstating them at a state level. The DOJ filled its law suit mere hours after the state's governor Jerry Brown signed it into law.

The FCC said this is because it has been given the authority by congress to prevent any state from writing conflicting legislation. However, other states such as Washington and Oregon had already passed net-neutrality laws of their own. It is believed the DOJ has come for California's because its rules are not only stricter than those other state's but are also more consequential considering its status as the nation's hub for technology innovation.

In its official announcement following the law suit, the DOJ alleged the state was "attempting to subvert the Federal Government's deregulatory approach by imposing burdensome state regulations on the free Internet, which is unlawful and anti-consumer."

The Departments head, US attorney general Jeff Sessions added: "Under the Constitution, states do not regulate interstate commerce - the federal government does.

"Once again the California legislature has enacted an extreme and illegal state law attempting to frustrate federal policy. The Justice Department should not have to spend valuable time and resources to file this suit today, but we have a duty to defend the prerogatives of the federal government and protect our Constitutional order," he added.

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