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Aug 31, 2018

California broke away from federal norm for the second time in recent months by passing its own net neutrality bill Thursday. Senate bill 822 was passed with 61 in favor and 18 against.The legislation was proposed by Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener and is intended to prevent internet service providers (ISP) from changing how they handle traffic based on the websites visited. The bill prohibits ISPs from purposefully blocking legal content, “engaging in third-party paid prioritization” and intentionally concealing information about network management practices, among other things.

The repeal of the rule was fought by Silicon Valley’s top players including Amazon, Facebook, Google and Netflix. Critics of the FCC’s repeal plan said it did not have the authority to “preempt state laws.” The FCC rebuttal said the U.S. shouldn’t operate under an “unwieldy patchwork of regulations.”

This is not the first time California has broken the mold in terms of tech regulation.In July, California passed its own version of GDPR, sending the tech community into a frenzy. Big tech, including Microsoft, Google and AT&T, are now lobbying the Trump administration to craft a federal privacy bill, in the hopes of overruling California’s version.

But critics of re-implementing a law like net neutrality or beginning a new era of digital privacy share similar concerns. A patchwork of laws is unrealistic, according to Callum Corr, data analytics specialist at ZL Technologies, in an interview with CIO Dive.

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