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Pai Passes on CES

The avowed techie will not be attending CES 2108 in Las Vegas next week after all

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, an avowed techie, will not be attending CES 2108 in Las Vegas next week after all, Consumer Technology Association (CTA) president Gary Shapiro said late Wednesday (Jan. 3).

“Unfortunately, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is unable to attend CES 2018,” Shapiro said. “We look forward to our next opportunity to host a technology policy discussion with him before a public audience.”

Pai had been scheduled for a show appearance, but canceled Wednesday, according to a source.

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An FCC spokesperson declined comment on the chairman’s absence from the show, but FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, another big tech fan, was also a no-show in 2016 (he was a lame duck in 2017), citing scheduling conflicts.

Citing Hill sources, DigitalMusicNews was reporting that Pai’s canceled appearance was prompted by multiple death threats tied to the show.

An FCC spokesperson would neither confirm nor deny the alleged cause, but the chairman has been subject to threats tied to the Dec. 14 vote to roll back net neutrality rules and has had Homeland Security protection for public meetings, including the net neutrality vote, where the meeting room was briefly evacuated before the final vote.