A Californian was sentenced to 20 months in prison on Friday (May 18) over death threats to the family of a U.S Commissioner over the net neutrality rollback.
Death threats over the net neutrality repeal
According to the Justice Department, 33-year old Markara Man had sent emails to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman in December 2017 threatening to kill his family members.
A man from Norwalk, California was also said to have sent listing locations. It contained in or around Arlington, Va., and a photo of Pai with his family.
In a separate email, Man accused the FCC chairman as responsible for the alleged suicide of a child. The reason was over the repeal of the controversial internet regulation.
The man admitted he sent the emails. Thinking that Pai will reconsider his position on the regulation that keeps the Internet open and free.
In a statement, G. Zachary Terwilliger, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, stated:
“Threatening to actually kill a federal official’s family because of a disagreement over policy. It is not only inexcusable, it is criminal.
This prosecution shows not only that we take criminal threats seriously, but also that online threats of violence have real world consequences.”
Months after the rollback, Pai said that he and his family continue to receive death threats via e-mail and phone calls.
What is net neutrality?
The net neutrality regulation obliged internet service providers (ISPs) to provide users with equal access to all data, regardless of their kind and source or destination.
It rules against ISPs offering paid “fast lanes” and slowing or blocking web content.
Pai led the FCC in a move that repealed the landmark net neutrality protections in December 2017.
While it’s a win for ISPs like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast Corp., the net neutrality rollback was opposed by companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon.
Sources: Fox News, The Verge