FCC Chairman Ajit Pai cancels Consumer Electronics Show appearance over death threats

AM ET Pai Passes on CES FCC won't comment on report death threats were cause

Before the FCC voted to repeal net neutrality in December, chairman Ajit Pai made numerous public appearances aimed at contemptuously mocking those who disagree with his proposals-that is, the vast majority of Americans.

So yeah, there's not much meat there, but it stands to reason that Pai thought it best to avoid a real and potentially heated discussion on the matter with the public.

Pai for a repeal in April and the Republican-controlled FCC 2-1 along party lines a month later to begin a formal rule-making process.

Pai was due to take part in what was described as a "candid conversation" with Maureen Ohlhausen from the Federal Trade Commission and chaired by Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, the organisation responsible for the CES show.

However, two unnamed agency sources told Recode that Pai canceled his appearance after receiving death threats.

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Jeremy Kaplan, editor-in-chief on Digital Trends, guessed that Pai cancelled because "he realized that the tech industry kinda despises him".

Under the new directives, the FTC will be in charge of overseeing ISPs, as they were before net neutrality was established.

This isn't the first time FCC officials have received threats related to the move.

While the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not immediately respond to Recode, a spokesperson for the Consumer Technology Association, which hosts the event, declined to comment, and an FCC spokesman for Pai said the agency does "not comment on security measures or concerns". "Pai's security detail is now "untenable" with "multiple, unsubstantiated death threats" linked specifically to the Vegas itinerary", the site reported. Instead of a "don't frighten the horses" rollback, the FCC completely junked the net neutrality regulation put in place by the previous administration, leaving broadband users with no federal level protection from ISP's looking to throttle, block and generally discriminate.

We've reached out to the FCC for comment on why its chairman was not available.

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