Washington State to Trump Admin on Net Neutrality: Bring it On

The governor of Washington has not only passed network neutrality laws, but is literally telling the Trump administration to “bring it on”.

The battle lines are increasingly being drawn on network neutrality. It seems that multiple states are now drawing a line in the sand with the Trump administration – and that line is network neutrality.

Last year, the war was on with the Trump administration firing the first shot by getting t6he Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to repeal network neutrality. The vote was strictly on party lines with Ajit Pai casting the deciding vote. All this in spite of a widespread outcry from Americans who overwhelmingly called on the government to not take this action.

Since then, several states took it upon themselves to defy the FCC and pass network neutrality laws anyway. As many are aware, part of the repeal involves laws explicitly banning states from passing their own network neutrality laws. California has largely become ground zero for the inevitable showdown. Back in September, they passed network neutrality laws in direct defiance of the FCC.

In response, Pai blasted California, saying that the laws passed by California are illegal and a risk to the country. If there was any doubt that the Trump administration would take action, that was all but erased by that statement. After that, through the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Trump administration sued California, saying that network neutrality would cause irreparable harm to the country.

Shortly after, the big US ISPs joining the DOJ and also sued California for passing network neutrality. The move follows in lockstep with the government and represents the latest volley against a free and open Internet. Already, we are witnessing an all out war.

Of course, if you think that those who are fighting to protect the open Internet are going to back down at the sight of litigation, it seems they are more emboldened than ever before. Washington, another state that supports the open Internet is pushing back against the Trump administrations tactics. Jay Inslee, Washington’s governor, is not only continuing to defy the administration, but is now actively daring the administration to fight him. From Geek Wire:

When asked about legal challenges to Washington state’s landmark net neutrality law, Inslee said, “Bring it on. If the president sues us, we’ll be ready.”

Inslee spoke at radio station KEXP with panelists from the tech, non-profit, art, and government sectors about the importance of maintaining unfettered internet access. The panel was part of Techstars Seattle Startup Week, a series of events held throughout the city over the next few days.

With shots already fired on both sides at this stage, it seems that the war to save the Internet is only continuing to escalate. Neither side appear to be backing down at this point, so an escalation from here is only a matter of time now.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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