back to article Pressure mounts on FCC to cough up answers over fake net neutrality comments

US lawmakers have weighed in on the FCC's controversial vote to scrap America's net neutrality rules, demanding information on the millions of fake comments submitted to the watchdog's public consultation on the decision – and asking pointed questions about how the federal regulator handled them. "We write to request …

  1. DCFusor


    You moan about tedious partisanship (well, I hate it - on both sides) but then forget the sarcasm tag on the statement that surely the Democrats will fix it?


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ?

      Seriously ? You need a tag for that ? Jeez !

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ?

      The article didn't say the democrats would fix everything, merely that they'd want to fix the system to be resilient against fake comments.

      Not really sure how you do that though, the only really proper fix would be to issue everyone in the US a private key (cue the "mark of the beast" moaning from fundamentalists) they'd have to use to sign their comments (and somehow keep secure)

      Probably the only realistic option would be to use their phones. Google and Apple could cooperate on a secure way for apps to attest to the phone owner's identity via the phone number / SIM / carrier billing info. Then the FCC could create a submission app where if I submitted a comment they would know it came from me and not paid corporate astroturfers. And also know I had taken some minimal initiative to make the comment instead of going to a web site, giving it my email address, and letting it comment for me.

      Of course the democrats won't do that, they'll just order the FCC to address the issue, and who knows what sort of braindead half measures we'll end up with that only cause the astroturfers to change techniques, not block them.

      1. danny_0x98


        My name and work address, invalid since 2000, were used to support the action.

        I found this out courtesy of the New York Attorney General who provided an online repository to check.

        Here's what I noticed, the comment attributed to me was word for word identical with thousands of other comments. This suggests an approach which should filter out spoofs and astroturfs: ignore the duplicated comments. I can't say this will fix everything, but it is a start.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fit for purpose?

    "We have no doubt that when the Democrats are back in charge of the FCC, one of the first things they will do is insist a complete overhaul of the comment process to ensure that it is fit for *their* purpose."

    FTFY. Because that's what happens in a hopelessly partisan environment, sadly.

    1. DCFusor

      Re: Fit for purpose?

      Yep, *all* sides are sellouts - and always point to the sellouts on whatever other side, but ignore their own. Divide and conquer, identity politics, it's all making me ill. How about working on genuine problems rather than "viewing with alarm" some made-up problem the only solution to which is giving them even more power to make a mess?

      "The best law money can buy" isn't working out that well for the plebes and the partisan noise is a distraction hoping we won't notice it or blame it on the other guys. Sooner or later anyone adult should realize that just because one guy is wrong - it doesn't make the other one right.

      Oh, look - a squirrel!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fit for purpose?

      I think I prefer the original paragraph to your "fix" - surely not everything has to be spelled out for the hard of understanding, even on the internet.

    3. Mark 85

      Re: Fit for purpose?

      No, I doubt they will change because then it will be fit for purpose. But do expect that within a few weeks,, all of the latest round FCC regulation fixes will be undone before they tackle anything else. Such is the way things seem to work these days. The concept of discuss, compromise, and "do the right things" is long gone in America. Giving in to corporate greed is the paradigm.

  3. elDog

    Same old, same old.

    Paid-and-bought behavior. Republicans in the US, autocrats elsewhere.

    Do we expect a different outcome when allowing these scoundrels to steal our elections?

    I have some suggestions but I'm not sure they've fit within the current regimes' limits of free speech.

    1. Charles 9

      Re: Same old, same old.

      Can any of your suggestions work withing the confines of the natural human condition. Because unless you have ideas that can be realistically implemented by greedy humans without the help of a benevolent autocrat, you're going to have trouble making them last.

  4. Kev99 Silver badge

    The FCC is already under investigation by the GAO for the net neutrality comments. Also for failing to enforce its own regulations, such as how Frontier misclaims its internet service as broadband. I'm glad there's at least one organization in Washington that is non-partisan.

    1. Charles 9

      What good is that, though? It's not like the FCC can be brought directly before a court, and Congress is in the FCC's favor.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I have some suggestions but I'm not sure they've fit within the current regimes' limits of free speech."

    Comparing the present political situation to the last couple of thousand years, my suggestion would be; "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die"

  6. msknight

    Apologies but...

    "it raises novel questions about how an agency can properly handle and interpret the public's feedback to make sound policy decisions."

    The public gave their feedback. They flipped it the bird. The republicans did it anyway. Why is this news?

  7. adam payne

    "raises novel questions about how an agency can properly handle and interpret the public's feedback to make sound policy decisions."

    The FCC will handle things the way their current political leanings tell them to. Public feedback is simply not involved in the decision process.

  8. Alistair


    Letter to the Federal Communications Commission.

    Raises questions about interpreting communications from the public.

    mmmmm Hmmmm.

  9. davidnalbandian

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat, said in a statement he will lead a multi-state lawsuit to challenge the reversal.

    - Immediately after the vote, Senator Edward Markey, a Democrat, said he and 15 other senators planned to introduce a resolution to undo the FCC action and restore the net neutrality rules.

    Support us by sign on net neutrality petition here

    1. Charles 9


      15? You need at least 51, maybe even 60 if the motion requires cloture. And it's an election year for 1/3 of the Senate (25 Dems, 8 Repubs, last I checked).

  10. AmericanProperties

    IT All depends on federal Government what they decide for? There is no regulation, no honest system controller, i think it will take a long time to do so.

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