FCC: "Desperate" net neutrality supporters won't delay vote

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Numerous comments, Schneiderman said, were filed using false identities, including those of minors and deceased people. 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.

"At today's news conference, they didn't identify a single comment relied upon in the draft order as being questionable".

Schneiderman says the FCC had been unwilling to help investigate who is behind the misused identities but reversed course on Monday saying they would help. Over the summer, the FCC was flooded with almost 22 million comments when it sought public input on the proposal.

Thune, Chairman of the Commerce Committee which over sees the FCC, says Congress needs a more active role in managing the internet.... Last week, internet users took to Reddit's front page to highlight their senator's support-or lack of support-for net neutrality and detail how much money their representatives have taken from the telecom lobby. "That includes as many as 50,000 people here in NY", he said.

But questions were raised soon after that about the source and quality of the comments being submitted.

Schneiderman alleged that over 1 million total Americans have had their identities used to submit fake comments, and at least 50,000 New Yorkers have - including his own office's assistant press secretary, Rachel Shippee.

According to one report from data scientist Jeff Kao, over 1.3 million comments have been proven to be fraudulent in nature thus far, with many comments impersonating U.S. residents or using duplicate email addresses.

The Senators who also voiced their hopes for a delay-all Democrats except for but Independents Angus King of ME and Bernie Sanders of Vermont - made their case in a letter sent to Chairman Pai.

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"Our Internet economy is the envy of the world because it is open to all".

"There is good reason to believe that the record may be replete with fake or fraudulent comments, suggesting that your proposal is fundamentally flawed", the letter said.

Since Pai revealed his plan to gut net neutrality rules just before Thanksgiving, public outrage has continued to grow-even as corporate media outlets have neglected to cover it.

Pai himself has been openly critical of what he believes are burdensome regulations and an overreach of the FCC's power.

Schneiderman said that his call for a halt to the vote was "not a dispute on the merits" of whether the rules should be repealed or kept in place, as there have been doubts about the authenticity of comments coming from both sides of the debate.

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".

To this end, we request a thorough investigation by the FCC into reports that bots may have interfered with this proceeding by filing hundreds of thousands of comments.

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