Majority of email support for abolishing net neutrality rules reportedly spam

Dive Brief:

  • The majority of public filings submitted to the FCC so far support keeping net neutrality rules, according to Fortune, while about 440,000 submissions opposing the rules actually appeared to be spam.
  • Data scientist Jeffrey Fossett, who analyzed the data, said in a blog that a single comment supporting abolishment of net neutrality was copied and submitted using names from hacked email lists. About two-thirds were from a single list stolen from River City Media, Fossett discovered. 
  • Excluding the spammed comments, about 97% of the nearly 700,000 remaining comments supported net neutrality rules. A vote on Pai's notice of proposed rule making is due Thursday.  

Dive Insight:

The passionate debate over net neutrality continues, but not everyone is playing fair. The FCC stopped accepting comments on its website after it suffered multiple distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS) last week. Now, sifting through the more than one million submissions that came in prior to that, it appears many of those submissions were not legit.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai is working to reverse net neutrality rules, and has the power to push a change through despite wide support for keeping the rules. In March, more than 170 groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, signed a letter calling for the FCC to maintain net neutrality. The Internet Association also came out against repealing the rules. 

Meanwhile, Pai says net neutrality hurts customers and the FCC wants to "end the utility-style regulatory approach that gives government control of the internet."


Filed Under: Security Infrastructure
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