Man arrested for 'threatening to kill' Ajit Pai’s family over net neutrality

Markara Man sent a series of intimidating emails to FCC chairman because he was ‘angry’ about the repeal of rules to protect the equal treatment of content online

Cecilia Kang
Saturday 30 June 2018 11:00
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Ajit Pai's decision to repeal net neutrality rules last November prompted a swell of consumer protests
Ajit Pai's decision to repeal net neutrality rules last November prompted a swell of consumer protests

A Californian man was charged on Friday with threatening to kill the family of the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai, over the repeal of net neutrality rules, the US Justice Department said.

Markara Man, 33, of Norwalk, California, is accused of sending three emails to Pai that included the death threats as well as a photo of the family. In one email, Man referenced three locations of the town where the Pai family lives.

Man, according to the FBI, sent the emails on 19 and 20 December last year. Agents confronted Man at his home in Norwalk in May and he admitted sending the emails because he was “angry” about the repeal of net neutrality regulations and sought to intimidate Pai, the FBI said.

The arrests come after a swell of consumer protests over Pai’s decision last November to rollback rules meant to protect the equal treatment of content online, a policy often called net neutrality. FCC officials have said Pai received multiple death threats against him and his family over many months.

Man is being charged with threatening to murder a member of the immediate family of a US official with the intent to intimidate or interfere with that official’s ability to perform his duties. If convicted, Man faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

An FCC spokeswoman said the agency does not comment on law enforcement matters.

The New York Times

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