“Daily News: AG Eric Schneiderman Says 2 Million Identities Were Falsely Used to File Comments with FCC on Net Neutrality”
December 14, 2017
As published by The New York Daily News, on December 13, 2017.
The number of Americans whose identities were fraudulently used in comments over net neutrality filed with the Federal Communications Commission doubled to 2 million, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Wednesday.
Schneiderman released the latest findings of his investigation into the matter a day before the FCC is set to vote on whether to repeal net neutrality rules.
“Millions of fake comments have corrupted the FCC public process — including two million that stole the identities of real people, a crime under New York law,” Schneiderman said. “Yet the FCC is moving full steam ahead with a vote based on this corrupted process, while refusing to cooperate with an investigation.”
Schneiderman again called on the FCC to delay the vote. He said over 5,000 people have filed reports with his office saying their identities were used to submit fake comments to the FCC on the net neutrality issue.
His probe also found over 100,000 fraudulent comments each from New York, Florida, Texas, and California. His office previously said that about half a million of the suspected fake comments came from Russian email addresses.
“As we’ve told the FCC: moving forward with this vote would make a mockery of our public comment process and reward those who perpetrated this fraud to advance their own hidden agenda,” Schneiderman said. “The FCC must postpone this vote and work with us to get to the bottom of what happened.”
In a letter to FCC General Counsel Thomas Johnson, New York’s top legal officer said that “one might expect a federal agency to harbor a great deal of concern when faced with strong evidence of a massive fraud uncovered by multiple sources.”
An FCC spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said on Dec. 4, when Schneiderman said 1 million fake comments had been filed, that the vote to do away with net neutrality rules would take place as scheduled.