U.S. FCC chairman Ajit Pai cancels CES appearance due to death threats

Zuma Press/TNS

Ajit Pai, who championed a controversial proposal to reverse net neutrality rules, has been the target of death threats in social media postings and harassing signs have been posted near his home.
Zuma Press/TNS Ajit Pai, who championed a controversial proposal to reverse net neutrality rules, has been the target of death threats in social media postings and harassing signs have been posted near his home.

WASHINGTON — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has canceled a scheduled appearance for next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas after receiving unspecified deaths threats, two sources briefed on the matter said on Thursday.

Pai, who championed a controversial proposal approved in December to reverse the Obama administration’s net neutrality rules, has been the target of death threats in social media postings and harassing signs have been posted near his home.

The FCC confirmed Thursday that Pai would not attend CES, but declined to offer a reason.

“We do not comment on security measures or concerns,” FCC spokesman Brian Hart said.

Two people briefed on the matter said multiple security agencies were involved in investigating the threats.

Last month’s FCC meeting that included a vote on net neutrality was interrupted by a bomb threat that prompted security officials to briefly clear the room.

In November, federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against a Syracuse man for allegedly threatening to kill a New York member of Congress unless he backed net neutrality.

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. Democrats in Congress plan to force a vote on whether to repeal the new rules.

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