Proposed State Laws Would Deny Contracts to Net Neutrality Violators
The cliche of the GOP being the party of states' rights has been tired for some time: Republicans have worked to hamper the ability of states trying to stem the flow of guns crossing their borders; they've floated the idea of preventing states from passing stricter-than-federal rules against polluters; and more recently, they've threatened to suspend funds to cities combative of border actions that see federal agents snatching up
Watching a Republican-majority Federal Communications Commission (
Aside from the
bevy of lawsuits
Because broadband service crosses state lines, it can be difficult for states to enact laws to regulate it, even when they have the argument of "consumer protection" on their side. What's more, the FCC order that repealed the net neutrality protections earlier this month contains an entire section dedicated to ensuring state and local governments are unable to challenge the administration's rules.
As Gizmodo reported when the draft proposal was first released:
The order further seeks to "preempt" state and local governments from enacting regulations that would supercede the federal government, preventing states from crafting their own rules to protect consumers. "Allowing state and local governments to adopt their own separate requirements, which could impose far greater burdens than the federal regulatory regime, could significantly disrupt the balance we strike here," the order states.
In response, New York Assemblymember
"If you are going to be a contractor and want to work with New York, then you must meet the principles," Fahy told Fast Company earlier this month, adding: "There's a decent amount of precedent for saying, if you want a state contract, you have to meet such and such requirements."
Obviously, ISPs will not be fans of this and will likely spend a lot of money to prevent it from coming to fruition. According to TechDirt , Washington and California legislators have similar regulatory end-runs in mind.
When the FCC rolled back broadband privacy protections earlier this year, several states worked to pass their own laws. California, for instance, proposed AB 375 to protect their citizens' right to privacy. Industry lobbyists began to immediately swarm to subvert the effort. And now, a wiser FCC is just including provisions in its rules to nip those pesky state-level battles off at the bud.
As with the fate of net neutrality nationwide, we're now in a holding pattern, waiting to see if any of these legal efforts to restrict the growing power of ISPs will grow legs. At the very least, in 2018 we'll see a sharp rise in the number of readers biting their nails over what would otherwise be considered tedious courtroom minutiae.
[ TechDirt ]