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FCC chairman may be skipping CES due to death threats

Ajit Pai canceled his scheduled appearance at the annual trade show over threats to his safety, Recode reports.

FCC Holds Vote On Repeal Of Net Neutrality Rules

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has been under heavy criticism since the commission voted last month to dismantle net neutrality rules.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai may have canceled his plans to speak at the CES tech trade show next week due to death threats, Recode reported Thursday, citing anonymous sources inside the agency.

Pai was scheduled to sit down Tuesday with the head of the Federal Trade Commission, fellow Republican Maureen Ohlhausen, as part of a conversation moderated by Consumer Technology Association President Gary Shapiro. It would have been Pai's first appearance at CES since being appointed as chairman of the FCC last year by President Donald Trump.

The chairman announced on Wednesday he would forgo his appearance at the trade show but declined to explain why.

Pai has come under heavy criticism by net neutrality supporters after the agency voted in December to dismantle rules passed by the Obama administration. The 2015 rules were designed to ensure that all traffic on the internet is treated equally and to prevent broadband and wireless providers from blocking or slowing online content.

It's not the first time the chairman and commission have been threatened with violence. Before the commission's controversial vote to roll back net neutrality rules, a bomb threat was phoned in, forcing an evacuation of the agency's chambers while a security team searched the room.

No device was found, and the commissioners and spectators were allowed to return after a few minutes.

The FCC didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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