Press Release Consumer Privacy

Maine Court Decision Rules in Favor of State’s Law, Victory for Online Privacy

July 7, 2020 , , , , , , ,

Today, Judge Lance Walker in the U.S. District Court of Maine rejected arguments from ISPs that the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality rules, and Congress’s disapproval of FCC broadband privacy rules, preempt states from asserting authority over broadband. He also rejected ISP arguments that broadband privacy regulation inherently violates the First Amendment.

Public Knowledge filed an amicus brief in this case last month. 

The following can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Legal Director at Public Knowledge: 

“ISPs welcomed the Pai FCC’s decision to abdicate authority over broadband with open arms. This opened the door to states regulating broadband practices, as Maine has done. The argument that somehow states lack this authority was rejected by the DC Circuit in the Mozilla case, and here as well. This bodes well for other state efforts to protect the privacy of broadband users and open internet principles.

“Judge Walker also rejected the ISP argument that broadband privacy rules facially violate the First Amendment. While ISPs will have the chance to further develop their arguments at trial it is unlikely they will prevail.”

You can read “Maine Was Sued for Trying to Modernize Privacy Laws” on our blog to learn more.