New York AG investigating fraudulent net neutrality comments to FCC


Pai, the chair of the Federal Communications Commission, has moved fast to eliminate regulations for large internet service providers and broadcast media conglomerates.

Relying more heavily on the public promises of internet providers is a departure from current net neutrality rules, which lay out clear bans against selectively blocking or slowing websites, as well as speeding up websites that agree to pay the providers a fee.

Pai previously pledged to try to repeal the net neutrality regulations enacted under the Obama administration, which treat internet service providers as if they were utility companies that provide essential services, like electricity.

"Secondly, the Federal Trade Commission has long had authority and had authority prior to 2015 for nearly 20 years over this space", he says.

The FCC's proposal also puts additional pressure on Capitol Hill, where some lawmakers have called for federal legislation that would supersede any FCC rules.

Russian hackers are using New Yorkers' stolen identities to get net neutrality repealed - and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says the feds are refusing to cooperate with investigations into the fraud.

A recent study found that almost 100 percent of unique, non-automated comments left on the FCC public-comment site were opposed to abolishing net neutrality.

The FCC votes on removing net neutrality on December 14. We will do everything within our power to keep the internet open and accessible for all.

Allowing the FTC to police broadband providers' own promises is tantamount to providing "toothless protections", consumer advocates say.

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Read the entire draft order here.

Mignon Clyburn, one of the two democratic FCC commissioners expected to be on the losing side of the projected 3-2 vote next month, issued a statement decrying Pai's plan. "As we look at where net neutrality might have an impact, or removing net neutrality might have an impact, we worry that it would be the sort of service that might get slowed down".

As we've reported before, dozens of consumer advocacy groups including Fight for the Future, Demand Progress and the ACLU have supported the strong net neutrality rules - aligned with companies like Netflix, Google, Etsy, Vimeo, Reddit and Amazon.

The ACLU also issued a statement opposing Pai's plan.

"Repealing net neutrality would stifle opportunity for individuals, students and small businesses, while letting huge corporations profit at our expense", de Blasio said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon. They are planning to organize protests outside the company's stores across the country.

Matt Wood, policy director for the advocacy group Free Press, likened the proposed system to the way that many companies design their privacy policies.

In brief, removal of Net Neutrality only favour big business and many are deeply concerned (including ourselves at eTeknix) that we might be sleepwalking into it.

A federal appeals court upheld the rules in 2016 after broadband providers sued.

The 210-page document bears the title "Restoring Internet Freedom", which echos the 2014 "Internet Freedom Act", a failed House bill floated on more than $800,000 in donations from U.S. telecom firms seeking to gut net neutrality protections.