The FCC justified its Net Neutrality-killing order by claiming that comments it received showed strong public support for dismantling the rules that stop your ISP from deciding which parts of the internet you get to use; but it was widely reported that the comments in the Net Neutrality docket were flooded by bots that opposed Net Neutrality, using names and personal information from stolen identities of dead people, sitting US senators, journalists and millions of others.
While bot-flooding has become routine in regulatory comments, the Net Neutrality case was especially egregious, in part because FCC Chairman (and former Verizon lawyer) Ajit Pai didn't seem to care that his regulatory proceedings had been taken over by corporate bots, and then actively obstructed law-enforcement efforts to discover who was behind these bots.
The New York Attorney General's office is undeterred by Pai's bot-complicity, and has expanded its investigation into the astroturf campaign, issuing subpoenas for records from a slate of telcoms lobbyists themselves, more than a dozen in all.
“The FCC’s public comment process was corrupted by millions of fake comments—and our investigation found that as many at 9.53 million of those comments stole the identities of real people,” Underwood said in a statement.
“The law protects New Yorkers from deception and the misuse of their identities. And all Americans deserve a fair and transparent process for determining public policy that impacts their daily lives. My office will get to the bottom of what happened and hold accountable those responsible for using stolen identities to distort public opinion on net neutrality.”
New York Attorney General Expands Investigation Into Bogus Net Neutrality Comments [Karl Bode/Motherboard]
(Image: David Saddler, CC-BY)