Published: Fri, January 05, 2018
Markets | By Rosalie Gross

FCC chair Ajit Pai backs out of CES appearance

FCC chair Ajit Pai backs out of CES appearance

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is a Republican appointed by President Donald Trump, and he always wanted to reserve the landmark net neutrality rules that were delivered under the former Obama administration. The ruling could make it hard for the FCC to repeal the net neutrality rules, and public interest groups are expected to challenge the move in court.

The death threat reason for the cancellation was confirmed to Recode by two agency sources. But other than legal threats, Pai has also received physical threats.

Shapiro said: "Unfortunately, Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai is unable to attend CES 2018".

Pai had been scheduled for a show appearance, but canceled Wednesday, according to a source. This was meant to be a "candid conversation" and would have been moderated by Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Technology Association.

Jeremy Kaplan, editor-in-chief on Digital Trends, guessed that Pai cancelled because "he realized that the tech industry kinda despises him". This move has made him unpopular with most of the country except for executives at internet service providers, to whom he's got close personal ties.

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It's not beyond the realm of possibility, though, that the cancellation may have been due in part to the FCC's decision to kill net neutrality past year and the subsequent outrage it caused - helped in no small part by Pai's decision to be a condescending pillock to his detractors ahead of the vote.

They were referring to fake comments submitted during the net neutrality public comment process.

It's not the first time Pai's security has been threatened.

The exact nature of the threats remained unclear.

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".

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