Net Neutrality vote must wait until conclusion of comment investigation, Schneiderman says


"This is akin to identity theft on a massive scale", he said.

With no net neutrality your internet service prover could charge you separately for video, email, gaming, and social media which could be way more expensive than it is now.

The chairman announced a plan in April to repeal the rules that restrict internet service providers from discriminating against certain websites. "It is incumbent on the FCC and all of my colleagues to stand back, figure out what's happening with this record before us, and get to the bottom of these stolen identities".

According to Schneiderman, the net neutrality feedback process generated more than 23 million total comments, marking an unprecedented level of participation.

Schneiderman says tens of thousands of people across the country may have had their names attached to the fake submissions.

It turns out his wife's best friend also has a comment posted, but her comment was against net neutrality.

The FCC is scheduled to vote on repealing net neutrality next week.

Schneiderman was joined on stage by democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, an Obama-era appointee who was reappointed by the Trump administration.

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Schneiderman had argued that "hundreds of thousands of identical anti-net neutrality comments under the names and addresses of unwitting Americans" constitutes illegal impersonation and misuse of a person's identity. But groups on both sides started to notice many were fakes.

Current and former FCC officials, who spoke to Gizmodo this summer on condition of anonymity, said the FCC's IT staff had been directed not to make any effort to filter out potentially fake comments submitted during the net neutrality proceeding.

Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press, told the International Business Times that even if the court rules in the FTC's favor, "t$3 he idea that the FTC will come to the rescue if net neutrality is destroyed at the FCC is a bad joke". "Presumably, these comments originated from individuals that took the time to type a personalized comment". There are multiple reports that the comments include fake ones, perhaps made by bots.

A group of 27 senators also wrote to Pai asking for a delay in the agency's vote because of concerns about the public comment record.

Citing the findings of Schneiderman's office and other researchers, the senators wrote, "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 accused the FCC of "stonewalling" on the investigation, although he said that the FCC inspector general had recently offered to help.

He also called on the FCC to delay a planned December 14 vote on chairman Ajit Pai's proposal to roll back numerous existing rules, which now ban internet providers from blocking or throttling traffic, or from selling "fast lanes" so content providers can reach consumers more quickly.