The U.S. Department of Justice asked a federal judge on Wednesday to block legislation on California’s key networks,media The Verge reported. In 2017, the Trump Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal an Obama-era Internet regulation that prohibits Internet service providers from restricting or blocking traffic and creating paid fast-track. In August 2018, California passed its own law upholding net neutrality at the state level; now, the u.S. government is seeking a preliminary injunction to block it until the state can enforce it.
Shortly after the bill passed, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against California, but the case was put on hold as a legal challenge to the FCC’s original order was ruled. In response to the latest request, the Justice Department is seeking to suspend California law while the case is pending.
Last year, the California law won its first challenge. After the FCC overturned its net neutrality rules in 2017, the agency’s decision was challenged in court by a coalition of organizations, including Mozilla. The petitioners argue that the FCC’s decision is illegal, based on a botched analysis of the Internet service market and undermines public safety. California agreed not to enforce its own law until the court ruled on the case, because the FCC used statements that would make states prioritize when introducing their own net neutrality rules.
In October 2019, the FCC’s reversal was largely upheld, but the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that the FCC does not have the legal authority to prohibit states from passing their own net neutrality regulations. The Justice Department considers the FCC’s ruling to take precedence over the laws of states such as California, Reuters reported.
The California attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to Verge’s request for comment, but Reuters said it was reviewing documents from the Justice Department. A decision on the Justice Department’s application is not expected until at least mid-October.