Net neutrality protests, coming to a Verizon store near you this Thursday

Trevor Jackson
December 5, 2017

A group of 27 senators also wrote to Pai on Monday asking that it delay its vote on the rules over concerns about the public comment record.

Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel today called on the FCC to fully cooperate with Attorney General Schneiderman's investigation, after the FCC Inspector General's office reversed course and signaled its intent today to assist with Attorney General's inquiry into one million fake comments submitted during the net neutrality comment process.

His office has set up a webpage where people can search the FCC comment database and report fake submissions.

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".

The FCC says it's cooperating with Schneiderman's investigation.

Among other things, Schneiderman cited a Broadband for America-funded study that found almost 8 million comments had been submitted using temporary or disposable email addresses, and almost 10 million comments involved duplicate email and home addresses.

He also called on the FCC to delay a planned December 14 vote on chairman Ajit Pai's proposal to roll back numerous existing rules, which now ban internet providers from blocking or throttling traffic, or from selling "fast lanes" so content providers can reach consumers more quickly.

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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".

"Even right here in my office, my assistant press secretary, Rachel, had a phony comment submitted under her name using the address of her childhood home", Schneiderman said. Schneiderman said it's a more "mixed bag" now.

The Attorney General's Office has been investigating the cases for six months. 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.

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

"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", he 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. But Schneiderman said that "unless we get the information from the FCC, it's anecdotal evidence".

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.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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