The Federal Communications Commission will vote December 14 on whether or not to get rid of net neutrality, but New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is calling for the FCC’s vote to be put on hold while his office investigates fake comments that may have been submitted during the FCC's public comment period.
Net neutrality allows Internet users to access whatever website they want without extra charges for individual content, and it prevents Internet service providers from slowing down or blocking content you want to access. The vote on December 14 would decide whether or not the FCC should get rid of those rules.
Schneiderman says his office has been investigating about one million possible fake comments that were submitted during the net neutrality comment process that used real Americans’ identities without their consent, including tens of thousands of New Yorkers. Schneiderman says that the FCC had refused to assist in the investigation up until today, when the FCC Inspector General’s office indicated they may help.
“Federal law guarantees every American a voice in shaping our policies. But my office’s investigation found that this process was deeply corrupted – with one million comments that may have been submitted using real people’s stolen identities,” Schneiderman said in a news release. “For months the FCC refused to help us get to the bottom of what happened. That’s why we asked New Yorkers to help – and in the last few days alone, thousands of Americans and hundreds of New Yorkers have reported that their identities were misused. Finally, just this morning, the FCC Inspector General’s office indicated that it may help. We’re going to hold them to that – and, in the meantime, it’s vital that the FCC delay the vote until we know what happened.”
The state attorney general’s office has created a website where New Yorkers can search their own name and find out whether their identities were wrongfully used without their consent. He says that just within the last five days, more than 3,200 people have reported that their identities were misused, including 350 New Yorkers.
If you'd like to check whether or not your identity was misused, visit ag.ny.gov/FAKECOMMENTS.