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FILE-Federal Communication Commission Commissioner Ajit Pai speaking during a FCC meeting in Washington Friday Aug. 9 2013. President Donald Trump designated Pai as FCC Chairman in 2017

Net Neutrality: FCC Chairman Pai Pulls Out Of CES 2018

Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai canceled a scheduled appearance at CES 2018 on Wednesday evening, January 3, less than a week before the interview.

Now, Pai and his office, according to Recode, apparently feel he should abandon his plans to attend CES, the worldwide Consumer Electronics Show, due to violent threats. An agency spokesman declined to comment, citing security concerns.

Big US telcos and cable companies may yet rue the day that their man at the FCC made a decision to go gangbusters over net neutrality repeal.

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This will be the first time Pai has not attended the conference in five years. Neither he, the FCC, nor the Consumer Technology Association, which organizes the trade show, offered an explanation for his withdrawal.

This comes after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted (as expected) in December to reverse Net Neutrality regulations, in a move that could damage the future of an open Internet in the United States. Those regulations generally barred internet service providers from blocking, slowing, or providing preferential access to particular online sites, services, and apps.

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It's not beyond the realm of possibility, though, that the cancellation may have been due in part to the FCC's decision to kill net neutrality previous year and the subsequent outrage it caused - helped in no small part by Pai's decision to be a condescending pillock to his detractors ahead of the vote. The group's president, Gary Shapiro, told digitaltrends.com that Pai and "his family have been subject to vicious and direct attacks and threats and any decision he makes regarding his own travel is fine with me".

Two people briefed on the matter said multiple security agencies were involved in investigating the threats. Democrats in Congress plan to force a vote on whether to repeal the new rules.

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