Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

FCC's Ajit Pai cancels CES appearance following 'death threats' over net neutrality

Ajit Pai FCC Getty Images
Kelvin Reese | 05 January, 2018, 13:47

Pai has previously said net neutrality were "a mistake" and he favoured a 'light touch" regime of regulation that would "not stifle innovation'.

Incidentally, Pai was scheduled to appear on a panel at CES next week for a "candid conversation".

Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), was reportedly forced to cancel an upcoming appearance at a highly anticipated technology conference after receiving multiple death threats.

This comes after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted (as expected) in December to reverse Net Neutrality regulations, in a move that could damage the future of an open Internet in the United States.

The Consumer Technology Association issued a brief statement that said Pai was unable to attend.

On Thursday, Shapiro told Digital Trends that Pai did not tell him why he was canceling his appearance, but speculated that his decision had to do with his personal security.

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Mr Pai has attended the Las Vegas trade show for the past five years, but this would have been his first appearance as head of the FCC watchdog.

It's not the first time the chairman and commission have been threatened with violence.

While it's likely that the majority of attendees at CES do not have a favorable opinion of Pai, the reason for the cancellation is unclear since the FCC declined to comment. Homeland Security police quickly cleared the room, but they did not provide any information on the nature of the security threat, prompting speculation that someone might have called in a bomb threat.

Speaking about the repeal order, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel who voted against the bill, said: "Going forward, our broadband providers will have the power to block websites, throttle services, and censor online content".

Pai has been targeted by death threats on social media after his agency approved to strip Obama-era net neutrality rules.

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