advertisement
advertisement

New York’s top prosecutor looking into bots that flooded the FCC with fake net neutrality comments

New York’s top prosecutor looking into bots that flooded the FCC with fake net neutrality comments
Eric Schneiderman [Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)]

The FCC just announced that it is doing away with Obama-era net neutrality rules, with a vote on the order expected to take place at its meeting on December 14. While there may be no way to save net neutrality as we’ve come to know it, one man is not giving up the fight: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. He wants to get to the bottom of the burning question: Who knows how to make a bot, but also hates net neutrality?

As we reported back in May, an anti-net neutrality bot posted more than 58,000 identical comments in what appeared to be a flagrant attempt to influence the results of the request for public feedback about the FCC’s plan to do away with net neutrality rules. Now Schneiderman is investigating what he calls “a massive scheme” to fill the FCC’s site with fake public comments opposing net neutrality. Schneiderman wrote an open letter on Medium–and a tweet, natch–to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, pointing out that the FCC’s process may have “been corrupted by the fraudulent use of Americans’ identities” in a violation of New York state law. However, according to Schneiderman the FCC isn’t assisting in his investigation into the potential crime, but seems to be ignoring it as it favors their agenda. Schneiderman lambasted the agency for failing to provide him with information he considers to be “critical” to his investigation into the matter. 

In his open letter,  Schneiderman encouraged the FCC to reconsider its “refusal” to help in the criminal investigation. He wrote, “In an era where foreign governments have indisputably tried to use the internet and social media to influence our elections, federal and state governments should be working together to ensure that malevolent actors cannot subvert our administrative agencies’ decision-making processes.”ML