Pai Passes on CES

Amazon Apple Microsoft Google and Facebook which control most online infrastructure—and have transformed the way we conduct our lives—operate from the US. When or if the FCC repeals net neutrality laws it will affect internet users all over the

Ajit Pai, a Republican appointed by, opposed the rules when they were enacted in 2014, when the FCC was controlled by Democrats.

It's easy to assume that Pai is avoiding potential contentious exchanges with members of the tech media who will be on hand for the event.

Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has abruptly canceled plans to speak at CES in Las Vegas next week.

The FCC voted 3-2 in December to overturn the net neutrality rules, which barred broadband providers from blocking or slowing access to content or allowing websites to pay for "fast lanes" to get their content more quickly to consumers. "We look forward to our next opportunity to host a technology policy discussion with him before a public audience".

Update: Recode is reporting that Pai's cancelled CES appearance is the result of death threats being made against him. However, according to a report on the AV Club, Pai has pulled out, marking the first time he won't be attending CES in five years - and the first since he helmed the FCC.

Digital Music News, which has covered the net neutrality debate, cited two unidentified "sources on Capitol Hill" in reporting the reason for the cancellation just days before Pai was scheduled to appear.

While the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not immediately respond to Recode, a spokesperson for the Consumer Technology Association, which hosts the event, declined to comment, and an FCC spokesman for Pai said the agency does "not comment on security measures or concerns".

Multiple security agencies were investigating the threats, sources told Reuters.

On Thursday, the FCC released the final text of the Restoring Internet Freedom order.

Critics have complained about the Federal Communications Commission's vote last month to repeal net neutrality rules set during the Obama administration that treated the internet like a public utility, Recode noted, and Pai has charged that he and his family have been attacked and threatened since the vote.

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