Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai canceled his scheduled appearance at a major upcoming tech industry trade show after receiving death threats, two agency sources told Recode on Thursday.
It’s the second known incident in which Pai’s safety may have been at risk, after a bomb threat abruptly forced the chairman to halt his controversial vote to scrap the U.S. government’s net neutrality rules in December 2017.
For both Pai and the whole of the FCC, the uptick in security concerns also presents a serious challenge to their ability to discuss critical tech policy issues in public view — without jeopardizing their safety or the safety of others in attendance.
In this case, the exact nature of the threat, made in advance of Pai’s fireside chat at the 2018 International CES, isn’t clear. A spokesman for Pai at the FCC, for its part, only said Thursday: “We do not comment on security measures or concerns.”