Broadband Companies Faked 8.5 Million FCC Net Neutrality Comments

Originally published at: Broadband Companies Faked 8.5 Million FCC Net Neutrality Comments - TidBITS

The New York attorney general’s office has found that 80% of the comments submitted to the US Federal Communications Commission about whether to repeal net neutrality were fake. Nearly half of those were bought by a consortium of broadband companies. The other half came from a 19-year-old college student.

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One minor nit, Ajit Pai’s “rollback” actually maintained the status quo, because it took place before Obama’s Net Neutrality rules took effect.

For all intents and purposes, we never had Net Neutrality. We only had a policy statement that was repealed before taking effect.

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Fair enough. I’m personally neutral on net neutrality, as I’ve written about here in TidBITS. However, I think these fake comments are a serious case of mass fraud.


Whatever about the legal barriers they may have in place, I hope the telcos are hauled over some congressional oversight coals at least and taken to task. The FCC I suspect are not alone in being vulnerable to such manipulation.

Verrry interesting. I’ve contributed to debates via public comments for a few issues, and I believe the first of which was concerning the U.S. vs Microsoft (browser monopoly) case in the 90’s. The so-named “right to repair” is another. Some of these cases generate so many comments that I don’t know how anybody could read them. Would they just somehow devolve into polls then? Do public comments ever make a difference anyway? My guess is that their affect is inversely proportional to the magnitude of the issue, or the number of comments - and that they can be manipulated means that they can be easily ignored.

I wasn’t exactly neutral on net neutrality although I’m largely in the middle. Too many laws stifle companies and competition, and too little law enables companies to run amuck as we are witnessing with big tech right now.