Update (01/04/18) at 4:49 p.m. CST: According to Recode, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai canceled his CES appearance after receiving death threats. The exact nature of the threat is still unknown.
A spokesperson for Pai at the FCC told Recode, “We do not comment on security measures or concerns.” A spokeswoman for the CTA, which puts on the annual trade show, also declined to comment.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai has cancelled plans to attend CES 2018, several days before the show. The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) issued a short email on the matter yesterday (via The Verge), stating: “Unfortunately, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is unable to attend CES 2018. We look forward to our next opportunity to host a technology policy discussion with him before a public audience.”
Pai, a key figure in the controversial net neutrality rules repeal in mid-December, was scheduled to have a “candid conversation” on stage on January 9 with the FTC’s acting chairwoman, Maureen Ohlhausen. He had previously attended the show for five consecutive years and this was to be his first appearance as the head of the FCC.
Despite that no reason was given for why Pai wouldn’t be attending, as a major proponent of the net neutrality repeal — which was opposed particularly strongly by those in the technology industry and press — Pai was unlikely to have received a warm welcome. Engadget says that neither the FCC nor CCA are willing to offer further comment on the matter.
To learn more about what the net neutrality repeal means for you, hit the link.