California lawmakers pass strict 'net neutrality' bill

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Public Knowledge Welcomes California Open Internet Bill to Restore Net Neutrality Protections

After a hard-fought battle, California's net neutrality bill is now all but certain to make it to the finish line that is Gov. Jerry Brown's signature is the next step on a road that could lead to the U.S. Supreme Court.

California lawmakers have passed the US' toughest net neutrality law to prevent internet providers from favouring certain websites, setting up a fight with federal regulators who voted a year ago to erase such rules.

Going into the legislative session this week, it was unclear whether the measure would get 41 votes, the minimum required to pass. Six Republicans crossed party lines to also vote for the bill.

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Senate Bill 822 reinstates the same regulations. It was originally passed in the Senate in May.

The bill would become California's second major internet law passed in the last few months, The New York Times said.

In what comes as a major blow to opponents of net neutrality, the state of California has succeeded in passing a bill that would effectively protect a free and open internet, joining four states including Washington and OR in doing so.

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The law would be the strictest for internet providers in the United States, and put California at odds with the federal government. They are sponsored by Common Sense Kids Action and have support from the Consumer Federation of America, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, among others. "This (bill) will catch on and affect the debate". Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat who wrote the bill. It has since encountered numerous obstacles that included being rendered practically toothless by the Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee in June. "It's pretty clear", said Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, a Los Angeles Democrat.

In an Assembly Floor analysis of AB 2658, officials indicated "the intent that this bill's study and developed definition of blockchain will inform both this bill, and SB 838's statutory definitions, if enacted". Jerry Brown that would prevent broadband and wireless companies from favoring some web sites over others by charging for faster speeds and from blocking, throttling or otherwise hindering access to content. Zero rating is when ISPs exempt certain types of online traffic from counting against customers' data caps. They expressed disappointment over the vote. Almost three dozen other states are working on their own laws, and supporters hope California's bill will inspire even more states to follow suit.

Industry groups have said a single, uniform law written by Congress would be far more effective at guaranteeing net neutrality protections for internet users.

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Earlier today, California Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) withdrew a bill that would have outlaws the sale of any service, including certain forms of advertising, meant to change an individual's sexuality or gender identity. He said the new bill "undercuts California's long history as a vibrant catalyst for innovation and technology".

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