At the same time that the New York state legislature debates a bill that would give New Yorkers the toughest online privacy protections of any state, as AVN.com reported, the state continued this week to lead the way in safeguards for internet users. On Wednesday, the state passed a net neutrality bill that would bring the same type of open internet rules to New York that were repealed on the federal level by the Federal Communications Commission last year.
Though, in repealing the Obama-era net neutrality rules, the FCC said that it simply has no authority to regulate the internet, as Wired Magazine noted, the FCC also claims that it does have the power to stop states from putting their own net neutrality rules in place.
The FCC has sued to stop California from putting its own net neutrality bill in place, as AVN.com reported. But last year, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order requiring that online service providers who have any state contracts must abide by new neutrality rules.
The new bill, A2432, passed the Assembly by an 84-34 vote. A companion bill is still under consideration by the state’s Senate.
“Free and open access to the internet is critical to our small businesses and furthering innovation in the creative economy, as well as our education and library system,” Democrat Patricia Fahy, a cosponsor of the net neutrality bill, said, as quoted by The Daily Dot.
The bill requires any state or municipal agency, including libraries, to contract with internet providers who adhere to net neutrality standards—and also authorizes the state to cancel contracts with any ISP that fails to follow net neutrality rules, so there is no “grandfather clause” in the new legislation.
New York appears to be going full speed ahead with its net neutrality legislation, even though California and Vermont, which also put its own net neutrality rules in place last year, have put their net neutrality legislation on hold until a court decides the validity of the FCC repeal.
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