ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
66°
Clear
H 79° L 65°
  • cloudy-day
    66°
    Current Conditions
    Clear. H 79° L 65°
  • clear-night
    71°
    Evening
    Clear. H 79° L 65°
  • clear-night
    66°
    Morning
    Mostly Clear. H 82° L 68°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National
New York AG investigating fraudulent net neutrality comments to FCC
Close

New York AG investigating fraudulent net neutrality comments to FCC

New York AG investigating fraudulent net neutrality comments to FCC
Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Surrounded by DACA recipients and immigration activists, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman speaks during a press conference to announce the filing of a multi-state lawsuit to protect DACA recipients, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, September 6, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

New York AG investigating fraudulent net neutrality comments to FCC

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Tuesday that his office is investigating tens of thousands of comments posted to a notice of the FCC’s proposed change to net neutrality rules after learning that they were made by impersonators.

>> Read more trending news

The investigation was launched six months ago, after researchers and reporters learned that the comment process, which is integral to the agency’s procedure for determining such rule changes, was being usurped by fraudsters who submitted an enormous number of fake comments, Schneiderman said Tuesday in an open letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

“While some of these fake comments used made up names and addresses, many misused the real names and addresses of actual people as part of the effort to undermine the integrity of the comment process,” Schneiderman wrote. “That’s akin to identity theft, and it happened on a massive scale.”

He said that the identities of tens of thousands of New Yorkers were fraudulently used.

“Analysis showed that, in all, hundreds of thousands of Americans likely were victimized in the same way, including tens of thousands per state in California, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and possibly others,” Schneiderman wrote.

He said his office tried nine times over the course of five months to get records from the FCC necessary to investigate the apparent identity theft. He said his office and the FCC have shared information with one another before, but that despite offers to keep the records confidential, as done in the past, New York officials have “received no substantive response to our investigative requests.” 

“We all have a powerful reason to hold accountable those who would steal Americans’ identities and assault the public’s right to be heard in government rule making,” Schneiderman wrote. “If law enforcement can’t investigate and (where appropriate) prosecute when it happens on this scale, the door is open for it to happen again and again.”

He urged Pai and the FCC to “reconsider its refusal to assist in my office’s law enforcement investigation.”

“In an era where foreign governments have indisputably tried to use the internet and social media to influence our elections, federal and state governments should be working together to ensure that malevolent actors cannot subvert our administrative agencies’ decision-making processes,” he wrote.

Pai previously pledged to try to repeal the net neutrality regulations enacted under the Obama administration, which treat internet service providers as if they were utility companies that provide essential services, like electricity. The rules mandate that they give equal access to all online content and apps.

Pai distributed his alternative net neutrality rule plan to other FCC commissioners Tuesday in preparation for a Dec. 14 vote. Although the FCC’s two Democrats said they will oppose the proposal, the repeal is likely to prevail as Republicans dominate 3-2. The vote for net neutrality in 2015 was also along party lines, but Democrats dominated then.

Schneiderman said that his office’s investigation is not about net neutrality, but is instead about “the right to control one’s own identity and prevent the corruption of a process designed to solicit the opinion of real people and institutions.”

“Misuse of identity online by the hundreds of thousands should concern everyone – for and against net neutrality, New Yorker or Texan, Democrat or Republican,” Schneiderman said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • A 30-year-old man died of injuries after a shooting in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood that police believe involved an Uber Eats driver. >> Watch the news report here Police say Ryan Thornton, 30, ordered food from the app to be delivered to the Concorde Condominium on Pharr Court South late Saturday. At 11:30 p.m., Thornton walked away from the delivery car with his order.  Police said words may have been exchanged, and that's when shots were fired from the delivery car. The driver took off in a white Volkswagen.  One of the people WSB-TV's Lauren Pozen spoke with lives close to where the incident happened. The person, who didn't want to be identified, said he heard five gunshots go off outside his apartment.  >> Read more trending news  Thorton died at Grady Memorial Hospital.  If you’ve never heard of Uber Eats, it’s a smartphone app that many people use to order take-out. Uber told WSB-TV that it has a 'no weapons' policy for its drivers.  As the search for the driver continues, this shooting has those who use the app a little hesitant to continue to do so.  'Something needs to be done to further the safety of Uber Eats and make us feel safe,” said the man who lives near the scene. Uber said a statement that it is shocked and saddened by the news and is working with the Atlanta Police Department. 
  • Police, along with the FBI, are searching for a missing 5-year-old boy in Kansas. Lucas Hernandez was reported missing Saturday evening. He was last seen at 3 p.m. in his bedroom by his stepmother, after she took a shower and fell asleep, KAKE reported. Police were called more than 3 hours later, at 6:15 p.m., to alert them he was missing. As of Sunday, an Amber Alert was not issued because there was no indication that he was abducted, KAKE reported. >> Read more trending news  A relative of Lucas told KSN, “He’s a bright little boy. He loves school. He loves his dad, his stepmom and his siblings. We just want him home safe, and if you have any information, anything about Lucas, please bring him home safely.” But a great aunt of Lucas’ said they were worried about him, The Wichita Eagle reported. Sally Rasmussen told the paper that she called the Kansas Department for Children and Families last year. His great grandmother, Jeannie Houchin, said that she was told that there was an investigation launched by the child protection agency, but the department didn’t confirm the women’s allegations The Eagle reported. Police searched Lucas’ home and neighborhood using K-9 units, but didn’t find anything. They also went door-to-door asking neighbors if they noticed anything, The Eagle reported. The FBI has sent its Child Action Rapid Deployment team to help find Lucas, KAKE reported.
  • An 11-year-old Orange County, Florida, girl was found Sunday afternoon at a Georgia hotel room with a 24-year-old Illinois man who had abducted her, Georgia's Bibb County Sheriff’s Office said. Alice Amelia Johnson was reported missing at about 9 a.m. Sunday from a subdivision near University Boulevard and North Econlockhatchee Trail in Orange County, deputies said. Investigators said they tracked Alice's cellphone while she was traveling with John Peter Byrns, of Hoffman Estates, Illinois. >> Read more trending news  At about 2 p.m. Sunday, Orange County deputies contacted Bibb County deputies, who were contacted by a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent two hours later, officials said. Byrns and Alice were found shortly before 6 p.m. in a room at a Holiday Inn Express and Suites near Macon, deputies said. Investigators said charges are pending against Byrns, who is being held at the Bibb County Law Enforcement Center. Alice was reunited with her parents Sunday evening.
  • Update: The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office says the reported missing man, Steven Haramia, has been found safe. Deputies say he is home and with his family.  Original Story: The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is asking for your help in trying to find Steven Christofer Haramia who deputies say left his residence early Saturday morning, possibly around 3am. Deputies say Haramia has several medical conditions which require continued medication. The sheriff’s office says Haramia was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and a camouflage jacket, with black Nike shoes. Deputies describe him as 5’9, 155 lbs, with black hair and brown eyes.  The sheriff’s office said they were searching for Haramia Sunday with their helicopter near the Heritage Park community in St. Augustine.  Deputies say if you know where Haramia is you can call the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office at 904-824-8304.
  • Hours after a 7-year-old boy died from injuries in a shooting in the Durkeeville area, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry called for the community to come together and stop senseless violence.  Curry sent a series of tweets before sunrise, saying we have to break through to these young people, intimating that the suspect was young.   The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has not released a description of the suspect.  Detectives say a dark-colored SUV pulled up to a home on Mt. Herman Street after dark on Sunday night and someone inside started shooting.  7-year-old Tayshawn Gallon died from his injuries at the hospital.  A 23-year-old man who was also in the front yard of the home had non-life threatening injuries.   This is the fourth child-involved shooting in the past two weeks, according to JSO.  

The Latest News Videos