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

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

Reached by email, an FCC spokesperson said there would be "no comment" regarding the inspector general's offer and instead attacked Schneiderman's investigation, claiming its only goal is to delay the December 14th vote to repeal the Obama-era net neutrality rules-which the FCC refers to as "restoring Internet freedom".

If so, and if the FCC rolls back the net neutrality rules December 14, then neither the FTC nor the FCC will have the authority to regulate broadband providers.

The New York Attorney General's Office also has introduced an online tool that the public can use to see if their identity was used to post a comment on the site without their knowledge or consent.

He said that his office's own review of the public filings showed that about 1 million comments may have used names that were in fact stolen identities. 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.

Furthermore, protests have been planned throughout the nation over the coming days in opposition to the FCC's "scorched-earth" attack on net neutrality: More than 600 demonstrations are scheduled to take place at Verizon stores and congressional offices across the country on Thursday, exactly one week ahead of the FCC's planned vote.

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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. Adding to the already record-breaking number of public comments submitted to the FCC over the last several months, more than 760,000 calls have flooded congressional phone lines since November 21, according to Battle for the Net.

The FCC, composed of three Republicans and two Democrats, is widely expected to kill net neutrality in favor of what Pai and the Republicans call "light-touch regulation".

Citing the findings of Schneiderman's office and other researchers, the senators wrote, "These reports raise serious concerns as to whether the record the FCC is now relying on has been tampered with and merits the full attention of, and investigation by, the FCC before votes on this item are cast".

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

The Attorney General's Office has been investigating the cases for six months. That's unacceptable. The FCC needs to correct this course immediately. While Pai contends the regulations were hurting ISPs, opponents say it crucially prevented them from imposing restrictive measures such as speed throttling or content preference. "This is an attempt by people who want to keep the Obama Administration's heavy-handed Internet regulations to delay the vote because they realize that their effort to defeat the plan to restore internet freedom has stalled".

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