The United States Department of Justice filed a lawsuit Sunday night against the state of California on the same day that Gov. Jerry Brown signed the country’s strongest net neutrality bill, The Hollywood Reporter’s THR, Esq., reports.
“The complaint filed in the Eastern District of California — the conservative region of the state — alleges that SB-822 is preempted by federal law and therefore violates the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution,” THR reports adding: “That the Trump administration is suing is no surprise given that one of the FCC’s first moves under the leadership of Chairman Ajit Pai was to repeal the previous administration’s ‘open Internet’ rules preventing the blocking and throttling of content on the part of Internet service providers.”
THR reports: “In the complaint, Justice Dept. lawyers recount the regulatory history of how the FCC briefly reclassified broadband from an ‘information service’ to a ‘telecommunications service’ subject to regulation under Title II of the Communications Act. When the FCC voted to back off on rules including a ban on paid prioritization via its ‘Restoring Internet Freedom’ order, California lawmakers stepped up to fill the void.”
The report adds: “Now seeking a declaratory judgment that California’s net neutrality statute is invalid as well as an order preliminarily and permanently enjoining enforcement of the law, the complaint discusses how California went beyond prohibitions on blocking, throttling and paid prioritization to also attack a practice known as ‘zero-rating,’ whereby a telecom data provider like AT&T doesn’t count the consumption of its owned content against an individual subscriber’s data plan.”