Public Interest Groups Urge FCC Chairman to Delay Net Neutrality Vote to Dismantle Rules
05 December, 2017, 02:38
Schneiderman said that his call for a halt to the vote was "not a dispute on the merits" of whether the rules should be repealed or kept in place, as there have been doubts about the authenticity of comments coming from both sides of the debate.
Although this likely constitutes a violation of state law, Schneiderman asserted, the FCC has repeatedly stonewalled all efforts by the NY officials to investigate the use of stolen identities.
Spurred by HBO's John Oliver, who rallied his viewers to support existing regulations, a tsunami of comments flooded the FCC website during the open comment period, hitting almost 22 million.
Meanwhile, organizers say they expect more than 600 protests at all 50 states at Verizon stores and at lawmakers' offices in Washington this Thursday, a week before the vote. He has said that the FCC does not need to impose any tougher rules on ISPs to protect consumers, as the Federal Trade Commission will continue to do that. President Trump nominated Pai to run the FCC in 2017, and that brings us to today's brouhaha.
An FCC spokesperson said the comment controversy was a last-ditch effort to thwart rollback of the rules, which many Republican officials say hurt investment in internet infrastructure and represent too much government involvement in business. "The FCC chairman and his staff have responded by stonewalling". "We want to weigh all comments and make sure that we take a full view of the record and again make the appropriate judgment based on those facts and the law as it applies". "But the FCC is on course to eliminate net neutrality guided by a record corrupted by hundreds of thousands of filings with stolen identities, close to half a million comments from Russian e-mail addresses, and an alleged distributed denial of service attack", said FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.
The inquiry into the fake comments began in the spring, Schneiderman said, amid media reports and research claiming that several people were impersonated by anti-net neutrality commenters and allegations that bots were being used to submit comments opposing net neutrality rules. Schneiderman said it's a more "mixed bag" now. Without additional information about the alleged anomalies surrounding the public record, the FCC can not conduct a thorough and fair evaluation of the public's views on this topic, and should not move forward with a vote on December 14, 2017. 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".
"Our process for serving the public inter is broken", Rosenworcel said.
Schneiderman said his office is seeking FCC logs to show the origin of the comments.
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