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Senators Seek Delay on Net Neutrality Vote
05 December 2017, 02:08 | Marta Robbins
New York City Leads Local Government, Consumer Groups Asking FCC To Delay Net Neutrality Vote
Numerous comments, Schneiderman said, were filed using false identities, including those of minors and deceased people.
Last week, Schneiderman's office unveiled an online tool that helped people see if their names had been used without their knowledge on comments submitted to the FCC. His office recently posted a page where visitors can flag fake comments, and he said it's gotten around 3,000 responses from around the country so far.
Specifically, the groups propose the FCC delay the vote until a pending court case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit - the en banc review in Federal Trade Commission v. AT&T Mobility - resolves. Last month, Schneiderman criticized the FCC for its failure to cooperate in his office's ongoing investigation into the fake comments, which it began in June, making repeated contacts to the FCC over the subsequent five months.
A separate study from the Pew Research Center indicated that among the record public comments about net neutrality filed with the FCC over a four-month period, only 6% were unique comments.
After learning that Schneiderman meant to hold a press conference on Monday afternoon alongside FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, the FCC Office of Inspector General reportedly contacted the NY attorney general by email and offered its assistance with the investigation. A statement from the FCC chairman even claims that scrapping net neutrality protections is to keep the government from micromanaging the internet.
During a news conference in Manhattan, the Democratic attorney general said he received notification Monday morning that the FCC's inspector general's office would offer assistance in Schneiderman's probe into thousands of possibly phony comments that were left on the FCC's public comment section on the topic of net neutrality, the existing principle that internet service providers-such as Comcast or Verizon-can't slow down, speed up or block internet access for some web sites relative to others.
Under Pai's proposal, the Obama-era rules would be reversed and ISPs would only have to disclose blocking or throttling.
"This is just evidence that supporters of heavy-handed Internet regulations are becoming more desperate by the day as their effort to defeat Chairman Pai's plan to restore Internet freedom has stalled". That's unacceptable. The FCC needs to correct this course immediately.
Based on Schneiderman's investigation, residents of California, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas may have also had their personal information used to submit comments on net neutrality, Rosenworcel said.
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