Good work by Attorney General Mark Herring!
AG HERRING FILES SUIT TO STOP ILLEGAL ROLLBACK OF NET NEUTRALITY
~ Coalition of 22 Attorneys General Files Petition for Review, Formally Commencing Lawsuit ~
RICHMOND(January 16, 2018)-Today, Attorney General Mark R. Herring joined a coalition of 22 Attorneys General in filing a lawsuit to block the Federal Communications Commission’s illegal rollback of net neutrality. The coalition filed a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, formally commencing the lawsuit against the FCC and the federal government.
“Fair and open internet access has been an unbelievable economic, cultural, and educational benefit to the Commonwealth of Virginia. It has connected Virginians to jobs, opportunities, and experiences that would have previously been off limits,” said Attorney General Herring. “The FCC’s unlawful rollback of net neutrality protections could allow internet service providers to block or limit access to certain websites, limit quality and speeds for streaming or video services, censor viewpoints or voices they may not like, or even charge websites and online retailers for priority access. ISPs may promise not to do any of that, but without net neutrality protections there won’t be any rules in place to prevent it. I want to keep Virginians, not their service providers, in charge of their own internet experience.”
Click here to read the petition from Attorney General Herring and his colleagues. The states will allege violations of the Administrative Procedure Act among several reasons that the FCC’s move should be enjoined as unlawful. Under the Administrative Procedure Act, the FCC cannot make “arbitrary and capricious” changes to existing policies, such as net neutrality. The FCC’s new rule fails to justify the Commission’s departure from its long-standing policy and practice of defending net neutrality, while misinterpreting and disregarding critical record evidence on industry practices and harm to consumers and businesses. Moreover, the rule wrongly reclassifies broadband internet as a Title I information service, rather than a Title II telecommunications service, based on an erroneous and unreasonable interpretation of the Telecommunications Act. Finally, the rule improperly and unlawfully includes sweeping preemption of state and local laws.
In addition to Attorney General Herring, the lawsuit has been filed by the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.