However, in the past year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States has made moves to end net neutrality by relabeling broadband internet Title 1 instead of the Title 2 status it holds now - identifying it as a common carrier or utility and allowing the FCC to enforce rules that prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from throttling, slowing or altogether blocking content from potential competitors.
The FCC is set to vote December 14 whether to scrap Obama-era rules around open internet access that prevent phone and cable companies from favoring certain websites and apps.
South Dakota Senator John Thune says he is hearing about it.... Verizon has been a proponent of the FCC's move to repeal net neutrality, and new FCC chairman Ajit Pai is a former Verizon lawyer, so protesting Verizon stores makes about as much sense as anything else.
"A free and open Internet is vital to ensuring a level playing field online, and we believe that your proposed action may be based on an incomplete understanding of the public record in this proceeding", the Senators wrote. Numerous comments, Schneiderman said, were filed using false identities, including those of minors and deceased people. The Democratic commissioners are against Pai's plan to roll back net neutrality rules. Virtually all opposed repealing the regulatory underpinning for the FCC's net neutrality rules.
The FCC does not require commenters to verify their identity, and features on the FCC website allow multiple comments to be uploaded from the same computer at once.More news: GM plans large scale launch
"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", Hassan and 27 other senators - including Sens.
The FCC did not immediately reply when asked why it made a decision to cooperate with the investigation or whether it would delay the vote.
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.
The New York Attorney General's office has been working on getting to the bottom of the fake FCC net neutrality comment controversy for months. "In less than a week, we've received more than 3,000 responses from across the country and they continue to come in", Schneiderman said. Adding to the already record-breaking number of public comments submitted to the FCC over the last several months, more than 760,000 calls have flooded congressional phone lines since November 21, according to Battle for the Net.
Schneiderman said there are anecdotal reports of comments coming from dead people, children, fictional characters and Russian email addresses as well as from people whose names were used without their permission. 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.