DOJ Sues California Over New Net Neutrality Law

In the wake of the FCC’s efforts to undo net neutrality protections under the Trump administration, California recently passed a law implementing net neutrality rules that are even stronger than the Obama-era regulations that have been rolled back at the federal level. Governor Jerry Brown signed the new law on September 30, which represents the strongest set of net neutrality protections in the country. The Department of Justice immediately filed a lawsuit in federal court, stating that California’s law constitutes an impermissible burden on the federal government’s efforts to deregulate the internet.

The new law not only prevents internet service providers from blocking or slowing traffic to certain websites, or charging more for certain for some companies to deliver their services faster, actions which were also prohibited under the 2015 federal regulations that have been reversed, but takes these protections one step further by banning zero-rating offers and applying net neutrality protections to interconnection deals among network operators. Other states, such as Washington, have also sought to implement their own net neutrality rules in the face of the FCC’s net neutrality rollback. Opponents have argued that federal law will preempt these efforts.

Additional Reading

California’s net neutrality law sparks Justice Department lawsuit,, October 1, 2018

Complaint, filed September 30, 2018 in United States of America v. State of California, et al.

Photo credit: / Anna Kepa