California Lawmakers Pass Net Neutrality Bill

Dwayne Harmon
September 2, 2018

"We are committed to protecting consumers online and to preserving the open Internet", the organization said in a statement. If Brown signs it by September 30, it would establish a working group on blockchain by July 1, 2019, to study the technology's uses, risks, benefits and legal implications for state government and the private sector, with input from stakeholders. California could. provide a template for states going forward.

The FCC did not reply to a request for comment.

The state's legislature on Friday passed a law that would re-institute net neutrality protections the FCC did away with in December. It prohibits internet providers from charging access fees to websites to connect to their customers, and it bans certain types of "zero rating" offerings.

Low, who heads the Assembly's LGBT caucus, said the bill would not harm freedom of speech or religion because it applies only to commercial practices or financial transactions. "This bill ensures that Californians, not the ISPs they pay to get online, get to choose what websites and apps they use", she added.

The bills all go to Democratic Gov.

A patchwork of state laws could make compliance more hard for internet providers and lead to a legal challenge focusing on the power of the federal government to preempt state laws. Some US cable operators are also sizing up zero-rating policies as a way to differentiate their services, according to a top exec at OpenVault LLC, a broadband data collection and analysis company that works with ISPs in the US and other parts of the globe.

California's laws have enormous influence across the country. "No one wants their cable or phone company to control what they see and do on the Internet", Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, said in a statement that called on other states to follow California's lead.

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Consumer groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a number of smaller tech companies including Etsy, Reddit and Sonos lined up in favor of the bill.

Unsurprisingly, the legislation has faced significant opposition from the telecommunications industry.

Telecom industry groups and lobbyists warned the bill would be challenged in federal court.

Lawmakers said internet service providers had already indicated to them that they would sue to overturn a net neutrality law.

Net neutrality activists cited their legislative victory Friday as a validation of their congressional strategy: to pressure vulnerable federal lawmakers who are running for reelection this year to endorse stronger net neutrality rules at a national level.

But critics of re-implementing a law like net neutrality or beginning a new era of digital privacy share similar concerns.

Governor Jerry Brown, also a Democrat, has not yet said if he would sign the bill into law.

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