Authorities have arrested and indicted a 33-year-old man in Los Angeles for allegedly emailing death threats to the family of Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai
Markara Man admitted to federal officials he sent her the threat last December because he was "mad" about the FCC's attempt to lift its net neutrality rules and scare Pai according to court documents.
Man told the authorities in an interview at his home in May that he hoped to persuade Pai to change his mind about overturning FCC regulations for Internet service providers, the court documents said. The FCC voted in December to lift the rules that prevent Internet service providers from slowing down or blocking websites. The rules were officially released earlier this month.
"You've ignored 80 percent of the comments," the man reportedly told the investigators, referring to the public feedback the FCC had requested before voting on their plan. "They ignored us, and we just did not care."
They sent at least two more e-mails, said the Ministry of Justice. One was said to have accused Pai of being responsible for the suicide of one child, and the other contained a picture of Pai and his family. It was not immediately clear if Man admitted to sending the other emails.
The FCC online comment system has been criticized for not being under heavy stress as the agency called for feedback on its proposal to lift net neutrality. In May 201
The FCC refused to comment on the charges against Man. However, the agency is increasingly aware of the violence against Pai and his family. Just before the FCC voted to lift net neutrality in December, security forces disrupted the public meeting and evacuated the room in response to a bomb threat with an unusual movement. The all-clear was given minutes later.
Pai himself has long complained about activist abuse because of his web neutrality policy. In November 2017, in an interview with Fox and Friends, he told protesters to stop harassing us in our homes. During the section, Fox showed pictures of cardboard signs in Pai's suburbs in Virginia, obviously aimed at Pai's children. They read, "They will find out the truth, Dad murdered democracy in cold blood."
Pai also has a series canceled public appearances under safety concerns that left a keynote appearance at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year. But he appeared at CPAC, the annual conservative conference, where he was unexpectedly honored with a National Rifle Association award.
An apology letter was written for his action. "Dear [Federal Official 1] I am sorry that I made a threat to your children, that was the limit, I hope you will change your mind [Official Action] but I doubt it, best regards, Mark."