Business Government

PA Joins Net Neutrality Lawsuit

Attorney General Josh Shapiro
Credit: PA Internet News Service

Pennsylvania will join 21 other states in filing a lawsuit aiming to block the rollback of net neutrality.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that his office was joining with 21 other state attorney generals in filing the lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Pennsylvania joins New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia in the lawsuit.

Shapiro’s office claims the FCC cannot make “arbitrary and capricious” changes to existing policies, which the attorney generals said net neutrality falls under.

The filing of the lawsuit follows through on Shapiro’s promise last month after the FCC commissioners voted 3-2 to rollback net neutrality regulations.

“The vote by the Federal Communications Commission last month to gut Net Neutrality threatens to end the Internet as we know it,” Shapiro said in a statement Tuesday. “The FCC’s action undermines free speech and is bad for consumers and business—especially startups and small businesses. I filed this lawsuit today with my colleagues to stop this rollback from being implemented.”

Net neutrality goes on the idea that internet traffic should be treated on a level playing field and service providers are not able to favor certain services or content providers based on how much customers pay. Opponents have stated their worries that cancelling regulations on net neutrality would create an unfair advantage to large content producers, internet service providers and streaming services while potentially cost consumers more money. To calm fears, those in support of the repeal have said the free market would make sure the playing field remains level.

Shapiro’s office said there were an estimated 100,000 fake comments from Pennsylvanians on net neutrality submitted to the FCC leading up to the vote last month. In total, more than 2 million fraudulent comments were submitted to the FCC.

“The theft of someone’s voice in our democracy cannot stand, and we must get to the bottom of this massive identity theft,” Shapiro said. “That is a compelling reason the FCC should not press forward with its action to rollback net neutrality rules.”

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