• Wash. Attorney General plans to challenge net neutrality reversal

    By: Linzi Sheldon

    Updated:

    State lawmakers and Washington’s attorney general are already working quickly to try to keep net neutrality alive in Washington state.

    Net neutrality rules required internet providers to treat all web traffic the same without slowing down or blocking content. 

    Republicans said Thursday’s repeal of those rules will provide consumers with more choices and lower prices.

    >> Read the full letter sent to the FCC on Wednesday

    “This is going to hurt Washingtonians in many, many ways,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson said.

    He is preparing to sue, saying the Federal Communication Commission’s decision to repeal net neutrality was illegal.

    “We keep beating the Trump administration, we're 5 and 0 so far, because they rush these decisions,” he said. “And in the process they don't follow certain rules they need to follow before they execute these decisions.”

    Ferguson believes one violation was the FCC’s public comment session.

    The New York state attorney general discovered it was filled with fake comments supporting the net neutrality repeal, made using other people's identities.

    >> Related: New York AG investigating fraudulent net neutrality comments to FCC

    “That’s just one example, but an important one,” he said. “You have a process that has to be legitimate so that the public has faith and confidence in the final outcome.”

    KIRO 7 learned lawmakers are also working to restore net neutrality requirements. Ferguson said if the state legislature takes action with a bill and is sued by the federal government, he will be in charge of defending it.

    Rep. Drew Hansen is teaming up with Rep. Norma Smith on a bill requiring net neutrality in Washington.

    “I want to make sure we in Washington state don't lose any of the protections we already have,” he said. “Internet services providers can’t block lawful content, they can't slow it down, they can't offer certain paid fast lanes.”

    “I guess I have a concern about being force-fed data and information,” Robin White said. She and her friend Kelly Spangler have been fighting the repeal with phone calls and emails to the FCC.

    “I want to see the data and information that I want to see,” she said. “I don't want to see the data and information that organizations pay for me to see.”


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