The first lawsuit to save net neutrality was announced minutes after the FCC voted to repeal it

FCC chairman Ajit Pai.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai.
Image: Reuters/Aaron P. Bernstein
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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has repealed net neutrality, after a vote that split along party lines. Already, multiple state attorneys general have announced they will sue to save it.

Minutes after the FCC vote, New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman announced his intent to lead a multi-state lawsuit to “stop illegal rollback of net neutrality.”

“The FCC’s vote to rip apart net neutrality is a blow to New York consumers, and to everyone who cares about a free and open internet,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “The FCC just gave Big Telecom an early Christmas present, by giving internet service providers yet another way to put corporate profits over consumers. Today’s rollback will give ISPs new ways to control what we see, what we do, and what we say online.”

Net neutrality is the term used to describe a collection of Obama-era rules meant to preserve the internet as a level playing filed. In particular, strong net neutrality rules have kept companies from blocking, slowing, or otherwise discriminating against certain content or applications.

Schneiderman pointed to the “deeply corrupted” net neutrality comment process, which included as many as 2 million comments from users who allegedly stole the identities of real people. (You can check if you were one of them here.) His office says it has been investigating those fake comments for several months.

Washington state attorney general Bob Ferguson also stated his intent to sue.

“Allowing internet service providers to discriminate based on content undermines a free and open internet,” he said. “Today’s action will seriously harm consumers, innovation and small businesses.”