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FCC chief Ajit Pai is skipping CES tech show because of death threats, reports say

Ajit Pai
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai was scheduled to speak at the CES gadget show.
(Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is skipping the CES gadget show because of death threats, according to published reports.

Pai has scrapped popular net neutrality rules that had barred broadband providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from interfering with internet traffic. The policy’s supporters have reacted strongly. Pai and his staff have reported racist tweets and death threats against the chairman. The FCC’s Dec. 14 vote on whether to drop the net neutrality rules was halted for unidentified security reasons, with a brief evacuation and search of the hearing room.

Pai was supposed to speak on a CES panel in Las Vegas next week. The Wall Street Journal, tech blog Recode and others reported the death threats, citing unidentified people.

The FCC confirmed his withdrawal, but spokesman Brian Hart said the agency doesn’t comment on security measures or concerns.

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