The FCC is expected to vote today to do away with net neutrality rules in a dismantling that would change the internet as we know it, allowing providers to charge more for higher quality to consumers and block websites.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is urging a postponement of the vote after more than 2 million fake comments to the FCC were identified.
“Millions of fake comments have corrupted the FCC public process – including two million that stole the identities of real people, a crime under New York law,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Yet the FCC is moving full steam ahead with a vote based on this corrupted process, while refusing to cooperate with an investigation. As we’ve told the FCC: moving forward with this vote would make a mockery of our public comment process and reward those who perpetrated this fraud to advance their own hidden agenda. The FCC must postpone this vote and work with us to get to the bottom of what happened.”
To date, over 5,000 people have filed reports with the Attorney General’s office regarding identities used to submit fake comments to the Federal Communications Commission on the repeal of net neutrality, on which the FCC is scheduled to vote tomorrow, December 14, 2017. People can check whether their identity was misused and report it to the Attorney General’s office at ag.ny.gov/FakeComments. Examples of the over 5,000 reports already submitted to the Attorney General’s office can be found below.
Attorney General Schneiderman’s latest analysis shows that as many as two million comments misused the identities of real Americans, including over 100,000 comments per state from New York, Florida, Texas, and California. A map can be found below, highlighting the number of fake comments submitted using stolen identities by state.
Despite widespread evidence that the public comment process was corrupted, the FCC’s General Counsel has said that the agency will not cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into the impersonation of New Yorkers, and that it will move forward with tomorrow’s scheduled vote.
CNET adds: “Schneiderman is justto the proposed rollback of the 2015 rules. — spearheaded by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who was elevated to that job by President Donald Trump earlier this year — would roll back the 2015 protections, which prohibited broadband providers from blocking or slowing traffic. The rules also banned them from charging companies like Netflix to reach their customers faster than their competitors.”