Are we about to see the end of net neutrality?

Students protest during a rally to

Schneiderman, along with FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat who is a lawyer, called on the FCC to delay the vote rolling back net neutrality rules, which is expected to be approved by the committee later this month.

A group of 27 senators also wrote to Pai on Monday asking that it delay its vote on the rules over concerns about the public comment record. In its essence, that ability to access everything on the web without it favoring or blocking anything is what is known as net neutrality.

He said that his office's own review of the public filings showed that about 1 million comments may have used names that were in fact stolen identities. But Schneiderman said that they approached Pai's staff nine times to obtain records, yet it was only on Monday morning that the FCC's office of inspector general offered to assist. Among other things, Schneiderman cited a Broadband for America-funded study that found almost 8 million comments had been submitted using temporary or disposable email addresses, and almost 10 million comments involved duplicate email and home addresses.

Schneiderman had argued that "hundreds of thousands of identical anti-net neutrality comments under the names and addresses of unwitting Americans" constitutes illegal impersonation and misuse of a person's identity.

-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". For decades, it has served as the medium by which many people around the globe have connected and learned from each other and in its wake, technology has expanded dozens of times over to facilitate these connections via email, instant messaging and now video calling. Further, Schneiderman notes that 50,000 consumer complaints are missing from the FCC record.

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"This is an attempt by people who want to keep the Obama Administration's heavy-handed internet regulations to delay the vote because they realize that their effort to defeat the plan to restore internet freedom has stalled", he said in a statement. Over 23 million comments were submitted to the FCC, but allegations of fraud and fake comments have destroyed the integrity of that process, enabling the FCC to ignore public feedback.

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.

Jessica Rosenworcel, one of two Democratic commissioners now on the FCC, also called for the vote to be delayed pending a full investigation.

Schneiderman said his team "discovered lots of anecdotal evidence" that some of the comments left on the FCC website appeared to not be legitimate, which ultimately led to his office's investigation. "We've got to fix it before we proceed with a vote".

"One of the arguments is the government shouldn't get involved in the Internet", said Anthony Martino, director of Northeast Cyber Security and Forensic Center at Utica College.

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