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California Signed Its New Net Neutrality Bill Into Law Sunday. The Justice Department Is Already Trying to Block It

October 1, 2018, 9:09 AM UTC

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a state-wide net neutrality bill into law on Sunday, only to be slapped with a Department of Justice lawsuit hours later.

The California law would prevent Internet service providers from speeding up or slowing down access to certain types of content, or charging websites and apps to provide faster service. It’s intended to replace federal rules to the same effect that were repealed last December.

In response to the new California law, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said “states do not regulate interstate commerce — the federal government does.” In a court filing for an injunction, the Justice Department said that companies “cannot realistically comply with one set of standards in this area for California and another for the rest of the nation — especially when Internet communications frequently cross multiple jurisdictions.” California is highly aware of that fact, and indeed is counting on it.

This isn’t the first time California has thrown around its weight as the most populous state in the union. Last week the state government moved to require automakers to meet Obama-era emissions standards in vehicles sold in the state in order to counter the Trump administration’s softening of the standards. The state has also defied the Trump administration on immigration issues.

The state’s net neutrality law is set to go into effect on January 1. The Justice Department is seeking to block it.