FCC Chairman Backs Out of CES 2018 Appearance

AM ET Pai Passes on CES FCC won't comment on report death threats were cause

Pai, who spearheaded the FCC's controversial decision, informed the Consumer Technology Association he would not be available for what was billed as a "candid conversation" with FTC acting chairwoman Maureen Ohlhausen, moderated by association president Gary Shapiro.

Update: Recode is reporting that Pai's cancelled CES appearance is the result of death threats being made against him.

The last month of 2017 was a busy one for lobbyists and telecom attorneys as the Federal Communications Commission voted to overturn its 2015 net neutrality rules and teed up further review of its media ownership rules, among other changes.

Shapiro did not give any explanation for Pai's cancellation, but in an interview with Digital Trends, speculated that it may have been for security reasons.

This marks the first time in five years that he has missed the show and would have been his first appearance as Chairman.

The sources added that federal law enforcement agencies have "intervened in the matter".

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RT America reached out to a spokesperson for CTA and are waiting to hear back.

It's not beyond the realm of possibility, though, that the cancellation may have been due in part to the FCC's decision to kill net neutrality a year ago and the subsequent outrage it caused - helped in no small part by Pai's decision to be a condescending pillock to his detractors ahead of the vote.

Under the new directives, the FTC will be in charge of overseeing ISPs, as they were before net neutrality was established. The agency's meeting room was briefly evacuated and searched.

The exact nature of the threats remained unclear.

The FCC released the full text of its Restoring Internet Freedom order on Thursday.

FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny, who has voiced opposition to repealing net neutrality, tweeted Thursday that it was "unacceptable" to threaten a public servant due to their views.

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