Several tech giants throw weight behind legal movement to restore net neutrality

Ajit Pai

Ajit Pai

Though not a direct party to any specific lawsuit, Gizmodo explains that acting as a legal intervenor allows the industry group to assert "its right to weigh in on the case in order to protect its members' interests, which would clearly be impeded by disposition of the case".

Technically, the Internet Association isn't filing its own lawsuit. Several state attorneys general across the country, including Washington's Bob Ferguson, announced plans to sue shortly after the FCC's vote. "This rule defies the will of a bipartisan majority of Americans and fails to preserve a free and open internet", said IA President Michael Beckman.

Pai has scrapped popular net-neutrality rules that had barred broadband providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from interfering with internet traffic.

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The repeal was criticized publicly and there have been numerous protests across the USA, while several public interest groups promised to file a suit.

While the FCC has refused to confirm the nature of the threats, it is clear that Pai's personal safety has been jeopardized after the FCC voted to undo a series of Obama-era regulations collectively known as "net neutrality". As such, the group intends to act as an intervenor in judicial action against the FCC's order. That's because his repeal - the final text of which was released yesterday - still must be published in a government repository known as the Federal Register.

Pai has publicly lamented that since the debate over net neutrality repeal began, he and his family have been continually subjected to threats and racist taunts, both public and private. This isn't the first threat to be directed at Pai in recent weeks: The vote to eliminate net neutrality was interrupted by a bomb threat that was ultimately determined to be a hoax. Before Pai scrapped the USA government's open internet protections in 2017, the likes of AT&T and Verizon sought to strike them down with a court challenge of their own two years earlier.

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