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DOJ sues California over net neutrality law

DOJ sues California over net neutrality law
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The Department of Justice on Sunday night sued California over its new net neutrality law, a little over an hour after Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed the bill.

The lawsuit claims the California bill is "unlawful and anti-consumer" because it goes against the federal government's "deregulatory approach to the Internet." 

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The bill signed by Brown is the country's strictest net neutrality bill. 

The new California legislation bars internet service providers from slowing down website speeds, blocking access to certain websites and charging extra for large websites such as Netflix and Facebook. 

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsFBI investigated whether McCabe leaked info about Flynn and Trump to media Ex-Senate Intel staffer pleads guilty to lying to feds over contacts with journalists House Judiciary chairman threatens to subpoena Rosenstein MORE in a statement on Sunday said the federal government has exclusive authority over net neutrality policies.

"The Justice Department should not have to spend valuable time and resources to file this suit today, but we have a duty to defend the prerogatives of the federal government and protect our Constitutional order," Sessions said.

State legislators began crafting the legislation last year when the Trump administration rolled back net neutrality rules. 

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in a statement after the bill's signing said it was a win in the battle against the president's agenda.

"While the Trump Administration continues to ignore the millions of Americans who voiced strong support for net neutrality rules, California - home to countless start-ups, tech giants and nearly 40 million consumers - will not allow a handful of power brokers to dictate sources for information or the speed at which websites load," Becerra said. 

Telecommunications companies have rallied against the bill since it was first introduced. The United States Telecom Association in a statement said it agrees net neutrality should be the purview of the federal government. 

The battle over net neutrality has been fraught since the Federal Communications Commission last year rolled back Obama-era regulations that determined all traffic on the internet should be treated equally.