FCC Ordered to Turn Over Data on Suspicious Net Neutrality Comments
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What’s the story?
- The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ordered the FCC to turn over data on dead people, bots, and overseas persons leaving comments in support of the net neutrality repeal.
- An ISP-funded study had found nearly 8 million comments had been submitted using disposable email addresses, and nearly 10 million comments involved duplicate email and home addresses.
- Twenty-eight senators, former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel had asked the FCC to delay its net neutrality vote over concerns that fake public comments were submitted under real peoples’ names. The GOP-dominated FCC ignored the request.
- The ruling comes just over a month after it was revealed that the FCC lied about a cyberattack occurring during a comment period on net neutrality.
What did the judge say?
- "In addition to enabling scrutiny of how the Commission handled dubious comments during the rulemaking, disclosure would illuminate the Commission's forward-looking efforts to prevent fraud in future processes,” Judge Christopher Cooper wrote in his ruling. He added:
“It is surely in the public interest to further the oversight of agency action to protect the very means by which Americans make their voices heard in regulatory processes."
- The FCC declined to comment on the ruling or whether it’ll appeal.
What do you think?
Are you interested in finding out who filed fraudulent comments on the FCC website? Should the net neutrality repeal be reconsidered? Hit Take Action and tell your reps.
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / bubaone)
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