Report: NY AG Calls for Probe, Delayed Net Neutrality Vote

Tuesday, 05 December 2017, 08:03:47 AM. There is evidence many filed public comments on the FCC's proceeding to roll back net neutrality rules have come from stolen identities or are fake, according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is called for a delay on the vote to undo the regulation.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is questioning the integrity of the FCC's proceeding to roll back net neutrality rules — saying there is evidence many filed public comments come from stolen identities or are fake.

The Democratic prosecutor called for the Federal Communications Commission to hold off its Dec. 14 vote on the rules pending an investigation, The Hill reported.

"They just have to stop this vote," Schneiderman said at a press conference, Variety reported. "They cannot conduct a legitimate vote if you have a record that is in shambles."

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

"I'm asking Chairman [Ajit] Pai to join us in our effort to investigate millions of fake comments and massive identity theft perpetrated against Americans," he said, The Hill reported.

Schneiderman, who called the process "deeply corrupted," was joined by Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who opposes Pai's proposal and urged the FCC to halt the vote "until we can get to the bottom of what happened to those stolen identities and the quality of our public record."

The FCC received almost 23 million comments since last spring, when Pai first made it clear he would review the FCC's framework for its net neutrality rules, Variety reported.

Last month, a data set analyzing the FCC's net neutrality comments between April and October revealed more than a million anti-net neutrality comments that flooded the FCC's system appear to have been sown by spambots — while as many as 99 percent of the legitimate comments were voicing their support of net neutrality, Tech Crunch reported.

"This is unacceptable," Rosenworcel, who supports the net neutrality rules, said Monday, The Hill reported. "The integrity of the public record matters. The FCC needs to get to the bottom of this mess. No vote should take place until a responsible investigation is complete."

A group of 27 senators also wrote to Pai asking for a delay in the agency's vote because of concerns about the public comment record.

A spokesperson for Pai said the comments being investigated had little sway over the chairman's decision.

"At today's press conference, they didn't identify a single comment relied upon in the draft order as being questionable," the spokesperson said in a statement, The Hill reported.

"This is an attempt by people who want to keep the Obama admsinistration'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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