Millions Of Fake Anti-Net Neutrality Comments To US Regulator Funded By Broadband Industry

A new report by New York Attorney General Letitia James reveals that the U.S. broadband industry, in opposition to neutrality, sent millions of fake comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2017 in response to fake comments from real people.

The report, titled “Fake Comment: U.S. Agencies and Partitions Hack Democracy Hack Democracy to Your Voice”, revealed that Broadband is a non-profit organization for the United States – consisting of broadband companies and senior trade group officials millions of fake comments. Net Neutrality is the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must treat all Internet traffic equally, without any fast lanes, extra charges or slowing down for certain content.

Millions Of Fake Anti-Net Neutrality Comments To US Regulator Funded By Broadband Industry

Proponents of net neutrality say it is vital to innovation and freedom of expression, allowing players of large organizations as well as small organizations to grow and prevent ISPs from restricting online lectures to those who may spend extra money. A key issue of neutrality in the United States is how ISPs should be classified under the Communications Act of 1934. If classified as the second most common carrier service to the economy and society, ISPs are further regulated by the FCC, which can enforce net neutrality.

If the title is classified as the first information service, the little control it has over the FCC will allow them to do so with very little control. The FCC classified ISPs as the second title in 2015. However, after Donald Trump was elected president and Ajit Pike was appointed chairman of the FCC, the FCC voted to repeal it and reclassified ISPs as the first title in 2017 IS. Prior to this 2017 event, the FCC received nearly 22 million public comments in favor of and against net neutrality. However, the new report revealed that more than 18 million of these were counterfeit.

Three companies, Fluent Inc., Opt-Intelligence Inc. and React2Media Inc., were identified as the main generators of the fake comments to persuade the public to join the anti-neutrality campaign using America Rewards and Gift Cards for Broadband America. Instead, these companies used only customer identities in fake comments. Among those whose identities were used for the fake comments were two senators, Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Pat Tommy of Pennsylvania. CBS reported that they wrote to Ajit Pike in 2018, “We were among those who were abused to express our identity perspectives.”