New Jersey lawmakers consider banning Internet providers from blocking access to certain websites

New Jersey legislators are considering a bill that would ban Internet providers and service providers from selectively blocking access on the basis of “content.”

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jim Wicks (R), would prohibit providers from using “technologies or technologies designed to facilitate access to or use of a web site that are discriminatory in nature” and would prohibit ISPs from “conducting business with, or otherwise offering services to, any web site” that “is hosted on a web server that is located in a location other than the state of New Jersey or that has been determined by the commission to be in violation of state or federal law or regulations.”

It would also prohibit service providers “from discriminating on the Internet against any person or entity on the grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information, political affiliation, ancestry, or genetic testing.”

The legislation would also require providers to “provide reasonable and nondiscriminatory access to any web page or content” on their servers, including those hosted on their own network.

This bill would have been included in the state budget for 2017.

“This is an attempt to stop ISPs from blocking websites that they don’t like,” said Wicks in a statement, referring to the FCC’s proposed net neutrality rules.

“The idea that they’re trying to control the internet is simply absurd.”

The New Jersey legislation, titled the “Fairness in Access to and Use of Broadband Internet Act of 2017,” is currently awaiting the signature of Gov.

Chris Christie.

In the 2016 presidential election, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign pushed a proposal to ban Internet service providers like Comcast from blocking Internet access, which critics argued would disproportionately impact people of color and people with disabilities.

A similar measure was proposed in California by Democratic state Senator Ricardo Lara.