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A net neutrality suit against FCC finds New York joining 21 other states

A pro-net neutrality bill in the Senate continues to move forward with the support of 49 democrats and Republican Susan Collins.

Eric Schneiderman, along with state prosecutors from 21

Eric Schneiderman, along with state prosecutors from 21 other states, is suing the FCC for what he calls its "abuse of discretion" in repealing net neutrality. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman joined 21 other state prosecutors Tuesday in a lawsuit against the FCC over its move to roll back net neutrality protections.

Schneiderman said he and his counterparts from states including California, Mississippi, Maine, Oregon and Virginia agree that the move by FCC chair Ajit Pai was done against outspoken support for the protections, and that he used questionable justification.

Opponents of the decision said it gives internet service providers the ability to manipulate internet users, especially poorer ones, as they can throttle speeds and charge websites for preferred access.

“This would be a disaster for New York consumers and businesses, and for everyone who cares about a free and open internet,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

A FCC spokesman declined to comment about the litigation.

The December vote was controversial as an investigation by Schneiderman’s office found that thousands of Americans’ identities were illegally used to make statements to the FCC in support of the proposal.

The lawsuit, filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals, argues the FCC’s repeal is “arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion” under the Administrative Procedure Act. It also contends that the agency misinterpreted the Telecommunications Act when it classified broadband internet as a Title I information service instead of a Title II, which gives the FCC authority to protect consumers.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate is pushing forward with its bill to bring back the net neutrality protections. As of Tuesday night 50 senators, all 49 members of the Senate Democratic caucus and Republican Susan Collins (Maine), have signed onto the bill.

“We need just one more vote, from one more Senator, to have enough votes to reverse the Trump administration’s #NetNeutrality repeal,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted.

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