Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

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

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

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.

"The argument I am making in this plan is: the best way to address this risk is to have the FCC examine on a case by case basis any situations in which we believe there is any competitive conduct", Pai said.

The Federal Communications Commission is on the verge of a historic vote to gut net neutrality rules and potentially ruin our internet.

"We are hoping they can delay the vote so we can get to the bottom of this", he said in a news conference.

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Schneiderman, a Democrat who has been a longtime nemesis of Republican President Donald Trump, said his office first contacted the FCC in June for records "related to its public comment system that were necessary to investigate which bad actor or actors were behind the misconduct", he said in his open letter to Pai.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat appointed by President Obama who supports keeping the current regulations, said that almost a half-million comments before the FCC were filed from Russian email addresses, and that 50,000 consumer complaints are missing from the record.

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.

With the FCC set to vote on chairman Ajit Pai's plan to kill neutrality in just over a week, a diverse coalition-ranging from consumer protection organizations to progressive lawmakers to Harvard professors-is denouncing the FCC's proposals and scheduling nationwide protests to combat the agency's move to let massive telecom companies "cash in on the internet" at the expense of consumers.

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In simple terms, Rhodes said internet service providers are treated like a utility under net neutrality. But Schneiderman said that they approached Pai's staff nine times to obtain records, yet it was only on Monday morning that the FCC's office of inspector general offered to assist. "The FCC chairman and his staff have responded by stonewalling".

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.

"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.

The chairman's office did not respond when asked for comment on the calls to delay the net neutrality vote. In vast swaths of the country, internet service is only available from a single provider; is it micromanaging to simply ensure that a provider can't choose which web content users can and cannot access? That's unacceptable. The FCC needs to correct this course immediately.

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