Ep. 25: Net Neutrality with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

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"The integrity of the public record is at stake", she said. "In fact, there is good reason to believe that the record may be replete with fake or fraudulent comments, suggesting that your proposal is fundamentally flawed".

Furthermore, protests have been planned throughout the nation over the coming days in opposition to the FCC's "scorched-earth" attack on net neutrality: More than 600 demonstrations are scheduled to take place at Verizon stores and congressional offices across the country on Thursday, exactly one week ahead of the FCC's planned vote.

It seems that the public letter-writing trend is catching on, with 28 USA senators now co-signing a letter to the FCC officially asking the commission to delay their December 14th vote.

It will now assist the New York Attorney General's office in looking into all of the fake anti-net neutrality comments submitted via the FCC site. Pai, who was appointed by Trump to lead the FCC, has argued that "these heavy-handed regulations" restrict internet service providers and make it harder for providers to build out their networks, he said in a statement last month.

The FCC does not require commenters to verify their identity, and features on the FCC website allow multiple comments to be uploaded from the same computer at once. Among other things, Schneiderman cited a Broadband for America-funded study that found almost 8 million comments had been submitted using temporary or disposable email addresses, and almost 10 million comments involved duplicate email and home addresses. The FCC's official response is name calling.

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In an open letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai last month, Schneiderman wrote that the FCC's public comments website had been deeply "corrupted", and that his office had uncovered "enormous numbers of fake comments concerning the possible repeal of net neutrality rules".

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.

"50,000 #NetNeutrality consumer complaints vs. the @FCC majority's draft order that says no conduct rules are necessary", Clyburn tweeted Monday. It is because of net neutrality that anyone can easily watch a YouTube video, get bored and binge a few episodes of Stranger Things on Netflix and then switch to their Hulu account and catch up on their favorite shows. According to the sources, Chairman Pai's staff had expressed concern that any attempt to block fraudulent comments would result in accusations that Pai was trying to censor net neutrality advocates.

The FCC is set to repeal net neutrality in a vote on December 14th, but its comment period - which is meant to give the public a voice in the process - has been beset with problems.

Meanwhile, an FCC member called on the commission to delay a scheduled December 14 vote on repealing net neutrality rules enacted under the Obama administration until an investigation can be completed. "None", Schneiderman said in the letter to Pai.

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