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Pennsylvania joins other states in suing to stop net neutrality rollback

Aaron Aupperlee
gtrag03042717
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Attorney General Josh Shapiro, talks to the Tribune-Review editorial board, at their office in Greensburg, on Wednesday, April 26, 2017.

Pennsylvania has joined several other states in a lawsuit to block the federal rollback of net neutrality regulations.

The lawsuit, signed by the attorneys general of 21 states and the District of Columbia, was filed Tuesday in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington.

“The vote by the Federal Communications Commission last month to gut net neutrality threatens to end the internet as we know it,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a statement. “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.”

The FCC voted in December to undo a series of Obama-era rules that guaranteed equal access to the internet. Proponents of net neutrality fear that without those regulations internet service providers will be able to block content and slow or speed-up service. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has said the internet will still thrive without the rules, which he called heavy government regulation.

The lawsuit asks the court to find the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom order, the order rolling back net neutrality, “arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion.” The states asked the court to find the order unlawful and to vacate, enjoin and set aside the order.

Pennsylvania was joined by 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.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected], 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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