The FCC's plan to roll back Title II Net Neutrality regulations has been the subject of dire controversy and heated debate lately. As the commission's December 14th vote to keep or roll back Title II regulations gets closer, net neutrality supporters have come out in force.
On Cyber Monday alone over 200 companies signed a letter to the FCC in strong support of net neutrality regulations, claiming that major sales periods for businesses – like Black Friday – are only possible with a free and open internet.
It seems that the public letter-writing trend is catching on, with 28 US senators now co-signing a letter to the FCC officially asking the commission to delay their December 14th vote. The basis for this request comes from mounting evidence that a portion of the FCC's 22 million public comments regarding Title II regulations may have been fake.
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 US residents or using duplicate email addresses.
As stated in the letter, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has spent the past 6 months performing an investigation of his own regarding the comments in question, with his findings largely reflecting Kao's.
In light of this information, the senators behind the letter have requested the following of the FCC:
"[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. ...Without additional information about the alleged anomalies surrounding the public record, the FCC cannot conduct a thorough and fair evaluation of the public's views on this topic, and should not move forward with a vote on December 14th, 2017."
When Ars Technica reached out to Pai's office for an official comment on the matter, they received the following statement:
"This is just evidence that supporters of heavy-handed Internet regulations are becoming more desperate by the day as their effort to defeat Chairman Pai's plan to restore Internet freedom has stalled. The vote will proceed as scheduled on December 14."