Ajit Pai reportedly cancelled CES appearance due to death threats

Dianna Christensen
January 5, 2018

In November, CTA announced Pai would join Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) acting chairwoman Maureen Ohlhausen next Tuesday for a "candid discussion" about the 2018 regulatory agenda of the agency.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, who spearheaded the agency's recent repeal of the net neutrality rules, has abruptly canceled a scheduled appearance at next week's Consumer Electronics Show.

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.

The current or incoming chairman of the FCC has attended every CES since at least 2009, and Pai has attended the last five shows.

Pai has been no stranger to controversy over the past year. FCC Chairman Michael Powell flew to Las Vegas for CES but got sick while there and could not speak.

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Of course, FCC chair Pai's statement paints a different picture of online life post-net neutrality: "Simply put, by returning to the light-touch Title I framework, we are helping consumers and promoting competition". For 2017 CES, then FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler agreed to a one-on-one but withdrew a few weeks before CES.

Rolling back the net neutrality regulations is one of the most controversial policy changes under the Trump administration.

In fact this week's vote came after a ballot question (where USA citizens vote for laws on the election ballot) was approved in November a year ago, despite the usual desperate lobbying effort by the cable companies and/or telcos.

Perhaps due to the unpopularity of Pai's stances, the session would have likely been well-attended.

The man who controversially once said he would take a "weed whacker" to former net neutrality regulations has met with fierce resistance since from consumers and activists and much of the world's media. It's unclear if it will still go ahead without Pai, or if it will be canceled altogether.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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