Economy

Are we about to see the end of net neutrality?

Are we about to see the end of net neutrality?

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.

A number of studies have found that numerous comments may have been submitted by bots in an effort to influence the public record.

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.

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.

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At a press conference Monday, Schneiderman said the FCC had for months had been unwilling to provide records necessary to investigate the alleged fake comments further, but that on Monday the FCC indicated that it would assist with the investigation. The protests are being organized by Team Internet, a "grassroots network of almost half a million volunteer activists spearheaded by Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, and Free Press Action Fund, three of the groups behind the massive July 12 net neutrality day of action that drove millions of comments, emails, and phone calls to the FCC and Congress".

The FCC's plan to roll back Title II Net Neutrality regulations has been the subject of dire controversy and heated debate lately.

But although we can all agree everybody needs water, the FCC thinks we no longer need an open internet, Rhodes said. FCC media spokesman Neil Grace responded with a document that explains frequently asked questions.

Although industry groups supporting Chairman Pai agree that, under his watch, the security and integrity of the commenting processing has been deeply compromised, Pai has publicly dismissed Schneiderman's investigation, calling it a "transparent attempt by a partisan supporter of the Obama Administration's heavy-handed Internet regulations to gain publicity for himself".

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His office has set up a webpage where people can search the FCC comment database and report fake submissions. "This is a big step but given the FCC's conduct over the past eight months we remain skeptical", Schneiderman said.

For example, Schneiderman said his office had been contacted by the father of a 13-year-old girl from Rochester, New York, whose name and address had been used to submit a fraudulent comment regarding net neutrality. 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.

"The FCC is on course to eliminate net neutrality guided by a record corrupted by hundreds of thousands of filings with stolen identities", Rosenworcel said.

Internet service providers now have to maintain equal access to all users of the internet.

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As Republicans now hold a majority of the FCC's five seats, the order to repeal the net neutrality rules is expected to pass. Twenty-eight U.S. senators have asked that the vote be postponed due to the allegations of fraud dismissed by Chairman Pai. But Schneiderman said that "unless we get the information from the FCC, it's anecdotal evidence". Charter has already sought to have NY State's consumer protection lawsuit dismissed based on the FCC's broad preemption of state law in the Draft Order.


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