Man who threatened to kill GOP Rep. over ‘net neutrality’ is criminally charged

Net neutrality may be a serious issue, but it’s not exactly life and death.

But one New York man has been formally charged with threatening to kill a United States congressman and his family over the issue.

(Image: screenshot)

According to the U.S. District Attorney’s office, Syracuse resident Patrick Angelo, 28, has been arrested and charged with threatening a federal official. Angelo reportedly called GOP Rep. John Katko’s Washington D.C. office and left a voicemail stating that if Katko didn’t support net neutrality he would not only kill the congressman, but his entire family as well.

The Federal Communication Commission is set to vote on rules that could essentially kill the concept of net neutrality as outlined by the Obama administration in rules put in place in 2015. The proposed changes are posted here for public viewing before the vote in two weeks.

From the document:

Over twenty years ago, President Clinton and a Republican Congress established the policy of the United States “to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet . . . unfettered by Federal or State regulation.” For decades, Commission policies encouraged broadband deployment and the development of the Internet. That ended two years ago. In 2015, the Commission imposed heavy-handed, utility-style regulation on Internet service providers (ISPs). Since then, broadband investment has fallen for two years in a row—the first time that that’s happened outside a recession in the Internet era. And new services have been delayed or scuttled by a regulatory environment that stifles innovation.

This Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, and Order would return to the bipartisan consensus on lighttouch regulation, ending utility-style regulation of the Internet. This will promote future innovation and investment. And more investment in digital infrastructure will create jobs, increase competition, and lead to better, faster, cheaper Internet access for all Americans, especially those in rural and low-income areas.

Serious stuff, but not exactly worth killing someone over.

Katko’s spokesperson said the congressman “appreciates the diligent work of federal and local officials.”

Angelo’s first court appearance was Wednesday.

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Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.

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Scott Morefield

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