from the russia-is-good-russia-is-love-russia-dont-interfere dept.
Federal Communications Chairman (FCC) Ajit Pai said it was a “fact” that there was Russian interference in the public comments ahead of its controversial net neutrality vote last year, amid sparring between another commissioner about a lawsuit the agency is in the midst of.
The admittance was made in response to a lawsuit filed by the New York Times, who requested access to records surrounding the public comments that they argued would “shed light to the extent to which Russian nationals and agents of the Russian government have interfered with the agency notice-and-comment process about a topic of extensive public interest.”
The public comments left ahead of the FCC’s net neutrality vote have been at the center of much scrutiny—with millions of fraudulent comments (including the names of dead people and current members of Congress) being used.
One recent study recently found that of the real comments, nearly 100 percent were made in favor of the FCC keeping the existing net neutrality rules.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the use of stolen identities in public comments on the government's repeal of net neutrality rules, BuzzFeed News reported Saturday.
The investigation focuses on "whether crimes were committed when potentially millions of people's identities were posted to the FCC's website without their permission, falsely attributing to them opinions about net neutrality rules," the report said.
"Two organizations told BuzzFeed News, each on condition that they not be named, that the FBI delivered subpoenas to them related to the comments," BuzzFeed wrote.
The FBI subpoenas came a few days after similar subpoenas sent by NY AG Barbara Underwood in mid-October. Underwood "subpoenaed more than a dozen telecommunications trade groups, lobbying contractors, and Washington advocacy organizations," The New York Times reported in October.
Previously: John Oliver Leads Net Neutrality Defenders to Crash FCC Website. Again.
Bot Floods the FCC's Website with Anti-Net Neutrality Comments
FCC Officially Publishes Net Neutrality Repeal
U.S. Officially Repeals Net Neutrality Rules; FOIA Request Reveals Details of Bogus DDoS Attack
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Passes Blame Over Lying About Public Comment System Being DDoSed
99.7 Percent of Unique FCC Comments Favored Net Neutrality
Ajit Pai Admits Russia Interfered in Net Neutrality Process amid Lawsuit