Senators anxious about fake comments in FCC plan to change net neutrality

Share

Schneiderman said that his call for a halt to the vote was "not a dispute on the merits" of whether the rules should be repealed or kept in place, as there have been doubts about the authenticity of comments coming from both sides of the debate. An updated analysis by the Attorney General's office found that approximately one million of these comments may have misused the real names and addresses of Americans - including tens of thousands of New Yorkers.

As the FCC prepares to vote to repeal net neutrality rules December 14, opponents are trying their hardest to fight till the end.

"Our process for serving the public inter is broken", Rosenworcel said.

"The integrity of the public record is at stake", she said. Before entering public service, Rosenworcel practiced communications law at Drinker Biddle & Reath.

As stated in the letter, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has spent the past 6 months performing an investigation of his own regarding the comments in question, with his findings largely reflecting Kao's.

After learning that Schneiderman meant to hold a press conference on Monday afternoon alongside FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, the FCC Office of Inspector General reportedly contacted the NY attorney general by email and offered its assistance with the investigation.

Schneiderman did not specify if the comments his office identified as fake were primarily in support of or against the current net neutrality rules.

Schneiderman says his office requested the actual comments records from the FCC numerous times but so far the FCC has not complied.

Schneiderman accused the FCC of "stonewalling" on the investigation, although he said that the FCC inspector general had recently offered to help. "None", Schneiderman said in the letter to Pai. "This is just evidence that supporters of heavy-handed Internet regulations are becoming more desperate by the day as their effort to defeat Chairman Pai's plan to restore Internet freedom has stalled", Pai's office said in a statement. There are multiple reports that the comments include fake ones, perhaps made by bots. He has said that the FCC does not need to impose any tougher rules on ISPs to protect consumers, as the Federal Trade Commission will continue to do that.

Based on Schneiderman's investigation, residents of California, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas may have also had their personal information used to submit comments on net neutrality, Rosenworcel said.

Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press, told the International Business Times that even if the court rules in the FTC's favor, "t$3 he idea that the FTC will come to the rescue if net neutrality is destroyed at the FCC is a bad joke".

The 2015 rules changed the designation of internet service providers, or ISPs, usually big cable and telephone companies, so they were banned from blocking or throttling (slowing) legal content or from seeking payments to speed delivery of certain content, called "paid prioritization". Schneiderman added that the feedback system was "corrupted" - a fact that he accuses the FCC of being well aware of.

Share