California net neutrality bill signed by Jerry Brown

California Gov. Jerry Brown

The Justice Department announced on Sunday that it filed a lawsuit against the law, arguing that only the federal government can dictate such a sweeping framework for how ISPs like Comcast and AT&T provide internet service.

State legislators began working on the bill when the Trump administration began to scale back net neutrality regulations previous year, with many Democrats viewing the legislation as a victory against the White House.

With a swipe of his pen, California Governor Jerry Brown made net neutrality the law in California.

"I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Department of Justice to ensure the internet remains 'unfettered by federal or state regulation, ' as federal law requires, and the domain of engineers, entrepreneurs, and technologists, not lawyers and bureaucrats."

"Under the Constitution, states do not regulate interstate commerce - the federal government does", said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. And it's a beacon of hope for Internet users everywhere who are fighting for the basic right to express themselves and access information without cable and phone companies controlling what they can see and do online." said Evan Greer (pronouns: "she/her), deputy director of Fight for the Future, the digital rights group that played a leading role in passing SB 822 and bringing national attention to the bill.

The Federal Communications Commission previous year repealed rules that prevented internet companies from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet. California is now set to wage a legal battle against the federal regulator that will decide the outcome of state-level net neutrality in the entire country. "California fought Trump and Sessions on their immigration lawsuit - California won - and California will fight this lawsuit as well", Wiener said in a statement.

The state's net neutrality law is set to go into effect on January 1.

California state Sen. Scott Wiener, an author of the state bill, struck back said in a statement the Justice Department lawsuit is just the latest attempt by the administration to block the state's initiatives.

USTelecom, a telecommunications trade group, said California writing its own rules will create problems.

The new law bans interconnection fees and has a "zero-rating" rule, which means telecom companies would exempt certain applications or services from counting toward a consumers data cap. Finally, the bill also makes sure that Californians are protected from mega-corporations like the newly minted AT&T-TimeWarner who want to push their content and services on subscribers, while harming all other speakers and companies on the internet. According to the National Conference of State Legislators, almost one hundred bills and resolutions have been introduced throughout the United States.

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