Senators worried about fake comments in FCC plan to change net neutrality

By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |  Dec. 4, 2017 at 1:13 PM
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Dec. 4 (UPI) -- More than two dozen U.S. senators sent a letter Monday to the Federal Communications Commission, to express concern about the agency's plan to change the net neutrality policy enacted under former President Barack Obama.

Net neutrality is the principle that service providers must treat all Internet data the same and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website or other characteristic.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has said he plans to repeal the Obama-era policy and modernize the agency's approach to monitoring the Internet -- which could include restricting access or accelerating flow to and from certain websites.

Monday's letter said a "free and open Internet is vital to ensuring a level playing field online."

In all, 27 senators signed the letter -- expressing concern that the public comments in the case, a significant part of the FCC's modernization plan, could be corrupted by "bots."

"There is good reason to believe that the record may be replete with fake or fraudulent comments, suggesting that your proposal is fundamentally flawed," the letter said.

It added that since the FCC record of public comments could be flawed, a vote on the matter, scheduled for Dec. 14, should be postponed.

The letter included signatures from Sen. Margret Hassan, D-N.H., Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore -- and it came days after a grassroots campaign on the link-sharing site Reddit encouraged users to flood the email boxes of lawmakers who favor the FCC change.

A page from blastingnews.com said, "Millions of activists have taken over the [Reddit] site to target Congress members in support of its repeal."

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