AG Scheiderman: Fake Comments Corrupted FCC's Feedback On Net Neutrality

05 December, 2017, 02:09 | Author: Ora Austin
  • New York City Leads Local Government, Consumer Groups Asking FCC To Delay Net Neutrality Vote

He added that at least one million more comments came from real people whose identities were stolen.

"50,000 #NetNeutrality consumer complaints vs. the @FCC majority's draft order that says no conduct rules are necessary", Clyburn tweeted Monday.

Although this likely constitutes a violation of state law, Schneiderman asserted, the FCC has repeatedly stonewalled all efforts by the NY officials to investigate the use of stolen identities.

Schneiderman accused the FCC of "stonewalling" on the investigation, although he said that the FCC inspector general had recently offered to help.

Spurred by HBO's John Oliver, who rallied his viewers to support existing regulations, a tsunami of comments flooded the FCC website during the open comment period, hitting almost 22 million. Last month, Schneiderman criticized the FCC for its failure to cooperate in his office's ongoing investigation into the fake comments, which it began in June, making repeated contacts to the FCC over the subsequent five months. "The FCC chairman and his staff have responded by stonewalling".

"The integrity of the public record is at stake", she said. The FCC received a total of 21.7 million comments but a Pew Research Report found 57 percent of the comments used either duplicate or temporary email addresses and many individual names reappeared thousands of times.

The AG's office set up a web portal where anybody can enter their name to see if it was used fraudulently.

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The Attorney General's Office has been investigating the cases for six months. The AG said a man in Albany even reported that his dead mother made a comment.

Schneiderman, along with 27 US senators, have called on the FCC to delay its December 14 vote on net neutrality due to the fake comments.

But the FCC said it will stick to its December 14 plan to repeal the net neutrality rules that prevent Internet Service Providers from throttling or blocking content online, and prohibit ISPs from prioritizing some content over others, possibly for payment.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has said he plans to repeal the Obama-era policy and modernize the agency's approach to monitoring the Internet - which could include restricting access or accelerating flow to and from certain websites.

Rosenworcel said the public comment procedure is important to the agency's process, and it should not make any decision without a guarantee that the responses are genuine. But Schneiderman said that "unless we get the information from the FCC, it's anecdotal evidence".

"This is the free speech fight of our generation and internet users are pissed off and paying attention", Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, said in a statement.

Twenty-eight USA senators, including Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, also sent a letter to Pai Monday urging him to postpone the vote in light of the investigation.

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