Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will not be attending the annual Consumer Electronics show (CES 2018) in Las Vegas next week, missing the show for the first time in five years.
Known for being the biggest technology conference of the year, CES allows companies to show off their new gadgets and brag about their innovative services.
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has confirmed Pai’s absence in a statement: ‘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.’
Neither CES nor FCC has offered a reason for the sudden cancellation.
According to one report, the decision may have been based on security concerns. Pai may have changed his mind because he has received death threats ‘linked to the Vegas itinerary’.
Who made these threats is unclear, so we can’t know how serious they are. Pai has been a target of hostility since he repealed the FCC’s net neutrality rules, so he might just be afraid of the ‘candid conversation’ he will have about that with CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro.
We can’t assume anything though. The only thing we can do so is sympathise with Pai. Not attending one of the hottest shows in the world must be depressing. It’s like you’re not that cool any more.
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