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January 17, 2018

Maine joins federal lawsuit to stop rollback of net neutrality

A month after the Federal Communications Commission voted to scrap net neutrality rules, 22 states, including Maine, are fighting back in court.

In a complaint filed Tuesday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, petitioners ask judges to declare that the FCC's decision is "arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion" under administrative rules and that it violates federal law, including the U.S. Constitution.

It also asks the court to set aside the FCC's controversial order and to provide "such additional relief as may be appropriate."

The move comes amid widespread criticism of the FCC's Dec. 14 decision to scrap Obama-era rules that prohibited Internet service providers from blocking or slowing down websites, applications and content."

Janet Mills, Maine's attorney general, said in a Tuesday press release that the rollback of net neutrality is "bad news" for consumers, individuals and businesses."

She added: "If we as Americans cannot trust our government to conduct a truthful and legitimate process for one of the most significant regulatory rollbacks in this country's history, how can we trust that this is the right decision? The FCC's decision to vote on this matter during an ongoing investigation sends a bad message about their agenda."

Mills also said she was pleased to join peers from across the country "in this important lawsuit to preserve and promote the public commons."

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