New York Attorney General Wants Net Neutrality Vote to Be Delayed

FCC's net neutrality repeal sparks backlash

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". "This is akin to identity theft on a massive scale", he said.

Thune, Chairman of the Commerce Committee which over sees the FCC, says Congress needs a more active role in managing the internet....

According to one report from data scientist Jeff Kao, over 1.3 million comments have been proven to be fraudulent in nature thus far, with many comments impersonating U.S. residents or using duplicate email addresses.

In a surprise twist, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced on Monday that FCC officials charged with investigating incidents of fraud have agreed to cooperate with a law enforcement investigation into potentially millions of fake comments submitted using the FCC's website this year. "None", Schneiderman said in the letter to Pai.

"The slowdown in investment is destroying jobs and risks a big future tax hike to make up for lost private investment".

A data firm backed by a telecom industry group found in August that the overwhelming majority of about 1.8 million comments to the FCC favored net neutrality, compared with 24,000 who supported its repeal.

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Separate independent studies also found high levels of suspected fake comments.

Schneiderman cited reports that that half a million of the comments appear to have been filed from Russian email addresses, a fact that net neutrality advocates likely hope will stoke further public interest in the often dry proceedings of the communications regulatory body.

Pai argues that if an ISP were to decide to unfairly distribute their broadband speeds then the market (the consumers) would decide whether or not they will buy into that company or choose another that does not slow down speeds to sites will control the market. "Presumably, these comments originated from individuals that took the time to type a personalized comment". 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.

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. The order effectively abdicates the commission's authority to regulate internet service providers (ISPs), such as Comcast and Verizon.

A spokesperson for FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican who backs overturning the current rules, said in response to Schneiderman's comments on Monday, "This is an attempt by people who want to keep the Obama Administration'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". The agency has also said it "lacks the resources" to investigate every one of the comment records.

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