NY attorney general asks for net neutrality vote to be put off

  • NY attorney general asks for net neutrality vote to be put off

NY attorney general asks for net neutrality vote to be put off

"An investigation by my office has revealed that this process has been deeply corrupted".

The 2015 rules changed the designation of internet service providers, or ISPs, usually big cable and telephone companies, so they were banned from blocking or throttling (slowing) legal content or from seeking payments to speed delivery of certain content, called "paid prioritization".

"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.

Schneiderman, along with FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat who is a lawyer, called on the FCC to delay the vote rolling back net neutrality rules, which is expected to be approved by the committee later this month.

The fight over fake comments is a new front in a almost year-long long tussle over whether a rollback of landmark Internet regulations will hurt or help consumers.

There is fear that could lead to higher prices and less access to the internet. Data scientist Jeff Kao has also run an analysis of the public record, and estimates that over a million comments filed in support of repealing net neutrality may have been fake.

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

Although Schneiderman said he has received more than 3,200 complaints, including 350 in NY, from those who say comments were made in their or a relative's name without their consent, the FCC is refusing to provide any records or data to help with the investigation.

"The FCC must invest its time and resources into obtaining a more accurate picture of the record as understanding that record is essential to reaching a defensible resolution to this proceeding", the Senators concluded. "That includes as many as 50,000 people here in NY", he said. Fake comments were submitted both in support of and opposition to the FCC's proposed ruling, findings that echoed other studies.

It added that since the FCC record of public comments could be flawed, a vote on the matter, scheduled for December 14, should be postponed.

The Senators who also voiced their hopes for a delay-all Democrats except for but Independents Angus King of ME and Bernie Sanders of Vermont - made their case in a letter sent to Chairman Pai.

"There is good reason to believe that the record may be replete with fake or fraudulent comments, suggesting that your proposal is fundamentally flawed", the letter said.

Pai himself has been openly critical of what he believes are burdensome regulations and an overreach of the FCC's power. These reports raise serious concerns as to whether the record the FCC is now relying on has been tampered with and merits the full attention of, and investigation by, the FCC before votes on this item are cast.

Schneiderman says his office requested the actual comments records from the FCC numerous times but so far the FCC has not complied.

"For months", said Schneiderman, "we've been pleading with the FCC to help us with our investigation so we can get to the bottom of what happened and determine who is responsible".