On Friday, a California man was sentenced to over a year and a half in prison to threaten to kill the Federal Communications Commission leader Ajit Pai and his family over the agency's controversial abolition of net neutrality.
The threats took place in December 2017 when the FCC voted to roll back the neutrality rules under Pai & # 39; s leadership. As the mood day approached, a man named Markara Man, 33, began sending Pai emails with threats to him and his family.
The first e-mail just accused neutrality repeal, and thus Pai, of causing a teenager to die of suicide The next e-mail often reported explicit threats to killing Pai and his family, including specific addresses in and around Arlington, Virginia. The final contained pictures of the chairman and his family.
These emails are what led the FBI to Man and his home in Norwalk, California, where he was arrested in June last year. The investigators were told that he sent the emails from the address "Stubblemanliness@gmail.com" to become "tougher". It was also claimed that the emails were only meant to scare Pai, and he did not intend to actually harm him or his family.
After the FBI investigators arrived at the Human Home, the court documents said he factory reset his phone and deleted evidence. When the researchers learned about the reset, they lied to them and said it was a phone he received a month earlier and had not set up yet.
"The threat of actually killing a federal civil servant's family because of disagreement on politics is not only unpredictable, it's criminal," said US lawyer for Eastern District of Virginia G. Zachary Terwilliger in a statement. "This prosecutor not only shows that we take serious criminal threats, but also that online violence threats have real consequences."
Since Pai announced that he would work to roll back net neutrality, he began to receive threats. Over six months after the commission's vote, Pai told the Wall Street Journal [ ] that he and his family still received threats, and he demanded 24-hour security. He has not been able to appear at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, an event he previously attended regularly, as he took his strong stance on net neutrality.