During his press conference on Monday, Schneiderman indicated that after a period of stonewalling he received an email from the FCC's inspector general's office offering a willingness to help in his investigation into the fake comments. Maggie Hassan, D-New York.
Citing the findings of Schneiderman's office and other researchers, the senators wrote, "These reports raise serious concerns as to whether the record the FCC is now relying on has been tampered with and merits the full attention of, and investigation by, the FCC before votes on this item are cast".
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and twenty-eight USA senators said Monday they were seeking a delay in a Federal Communications Commission vote to repeal Obama-era Internet regulations, citing a profusion of fake public comments surrounding the hot-button issue.
Last month, a data set analyzing the FCC's net neutrality comments between April and October revealed more than a million anti-net neutrality comments that flooded the FCC's system appear to have been sown by spambots - while as many as 99 percent of the legitimate comments were voicing their support of net neutrality, Tech Crunch reported. 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 chairman and his staff have responded by stonewalling". "So I call on my colleagues to halt this vote until we get to the bottom of what has happened with these stolen identities and the quality of our public record", said Rosenworcel, who was nominated by President Barack Obama to the FCC.
The inquiry into the fake comments began in the spring, Schneiderman said, amid media reports and research claiming that several people were impersonated by anti-net neutrality commenters and allegations that bots were being used to submit comments opposing net neutrality rules. One of the people whose name was used to submit a fake net neutrality comment included Schneiderman's assistant press secretary, he said. Virtually all opposed repealing the regulatory underpinning for the FCC's net neutrality rules.
-Craig Aaron, Free PressA coalition of over 40 consumer protection groups also called on the FCC to postpone its vote on repealing net neutrality in a letter to Pai on Monday, citing a pending court case that could ultimately "leave consumers at the mercy of internet service providers".
Separately Monday, more than two dozen Democratic senators also wrote to the FCC calling for the December 14 vote to be delayed until a review of the submissions take place.
"Our process for serving the public inter is broken", Rosenworcel said.
Added Rosenworcel: "Distressingly, the FCC has been unwilling to assist a law enforcement investigation into some of these problems".
In related news, the FCC has reversed course in one respect. The integrity of our process is at stake.
A representative for the FCC said the attorney general's investigation isn't warranted.