California Assembly Advances Net Neutrality Bill

Dmitrii Melnikov

Dmitrii Melnikov

California could become the fourth state to approve net neutrality regulations if Brown signs the bill.

California lawmakers on Friday sent to the governor for final approval strict "net neutrality" laws that would defy sweeping Federal Communications Commission rules that are seen as a boon for internet providers.

Having cleared both houses of California's legislature, SB 822 will now head to Democratic Gov. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, would prohibit internet providers from blocking or slowing data based on its content or from favoring websites or video streams from companies that pay extra. On Wednesday, the State Assembly passed a bill-the first of its kind in the US -that would require such companies to change that.

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The bill still needs Governor Jerry Brown's signature to become law, however.

"SB822 sets the standard for other states to follow".

Earlier today, California Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) withdrew a bill that would have outlaws the sale of any service, including certain forms of advertising, meant to change an individual's sexuality or gender identity. Almost three dozen other states are working on their own laws, and supporters hope California's bill will inspire even more states to follow suit. It gave California internet users the ability to know what information a company like Facebook or Google was collecting, and how it was being used and shared with third parties. Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman appointed by President Donald Trump, pitched the repeal as a way to stop the federal government from "micromanaging the internet".

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"President Trump didn't ruin the internet". Through their trade group, USTelecom, broadband providers lobbied against the Bill, warning that the rules on their management of traffic would stifle innovation and hinder business models. Opponents of net neutrality have long said they favor less regulation.

Telecommunications industry groups including the California Cable and Telecommunications Association and the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association opposed the legislation.

The bill, Calderon's office said in a fact sheet, defines blockchain technology for the first time, "which will provide businesses and industry greater certainty regarding the technology's legal standing". However, because changes were made in the Assembly, the Senate must vote on the legislation again.

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"California just took a huge step toward restoring protections that prevent companies like AT&T and Comcast from screwing us all over more than they already do", Evan Greer, the deputy director of Fight for the Future, said in a statement. They call it a bailout of Pacific Gas & Electric company.

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