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States act against FCC net neutrality rollback

[JURIST] States reacted swiftly Thursday to challenge the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) decision to undo [JURIST report] the set of internet regulations known as net neutrality.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman took the lead Thursday afternoon announcing a lawsuit [press release] to stop the action. That suit was quickly joined by attorneys general from Washington, Massachusetts, Illinois [press releases] and Oregon [Portland Tribune].

All of these states were also signatories to a letter [text, PDF] sent to the FCC Wednesday demanding that the vote on the new rules be delayed. The letter, signed by the attorneys general of 18 states, cited reason for concern regarding the integrity of the FCC's open comment period for the new rules. An investigation by Schneiderman revealed up to two million falsified comments on the FCC's website. Many of the false comments were left in the name of real people, some of whom are deceased, and constitutes identity theft on a massive scale. In the signatories' view, if the democratic process of notice and comment was compromised as it relates to the net neutrality rules, the FCC should not rely on those comments and should review its reasoning.

With their letter rebuked, many of the the 18 are expected to join the states already suing to block the new rules. The real result of Thursday's 3-2 vote at the FCC is that the question of net neutrality will now move from agency consideration to court review.

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