A California man was sentenced to more than a year and a half in federal prison Friday for threatening to kill the family of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai over the rollback of Obama-era net neutrality regulations.
Marka Man, 33, of Norwalk, sent Pai three emails in Dec. 2017, with the first accusing him of being responsible for a child who committed suicide over the net neutrality repeal, a Justice Department statement said. The second listed three locations in and around Arlington,Va., and contained death threats against Pai’s family. The third had no text, but included an image depicting Pai with his family in the background.
“Threatening to actually kill a federal official’s family because of a disagreement over policy is not only inexcusable, it is criminal,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
The FBI traced the emails to Man and he admitted to sending them when confronted by agents.
The reversal of the net neutrality rules took effect in June, months after the FCC voted to dismantle the utility-style regulations on internet providers. The rules prevented providers from favoring their own services or certain customers over their competitors.
The agency argued the rollback would get rid of burdensome regulations and add customer protections and increase transparency.