- MrBeast impersonator tricks kid into destroying his XBox 1 Year Ago
- This mom has the perfect nickname for her nonbinary kid 1 Year Ago
- Netflix tests pop-out player that will allow viewers to multitask Today 11:44 AM
- Man allowed to sue media publishers over readers’ Facebook comments Today 11:42 AM
- Republicans slammed for joke about ‘heavily armed militia’ at Oregon statehouse Today 11:30 AM
- New bill wants tech companies to tell you how much your data is worth Today 10:53 AM
- AOC has the best response to Steve King’s ‘concentration camp’ criticism Today 10:19 AM
- Did Jake Paul and Tana Mongeau just get engaged? Today 9:26 AM
- Leaked documents reveal all the ‘red flags’ about Trump officials Today 9:02 AM
- Elon Musk, who wants to colonize space, thought the moon was Mars Today 8:56 AM
- How to watch ‘Legion’ for free Today 8:46 AM
- Netflix’s ‘Bolívar’ reduces hero’s tale to irredeemable melodrama Today 8:18 AM
- How to watch the U.S. vs. Spain at the World Cup for free Today 7:55 AM
- How to watch ‘The Hills: New Beginnings’ for free Today 7:40 AM
- Inside the pornographic video game that took Kickstarter by storm Today 7:00 AM
Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)
The fake comments have been criticized before.
Two senators say their identities were among the millions of fraudulent comments that were allegedly posted to Federal Communications Commission‘s (FCC) website ahead of its controversial vote to repeal net neutrality rules last year. The senators are questioning the agency about its investigation into instances of identity fraud.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) sent a letter Monday to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai asking the agency to “identify and address fraudulent behavior in the rulemaking process.” The two lawmakers said both of their identities were used to make false statements ahead of the vote.
The calls from Merkley and Toomey come as a torrent of criticism has been levied against the FCC for fraudulent comments that were among more than 20 million left on its website before its vote to dismantle net neutrality rules last year.
“We need to prevent the deliberate misuse of Americans’ personal information and ensure that the FCC is working to protect against current and future vulnerabilities in its system,” the letter reads.
The fake comments left on the FCC’s website were also the subject of an investigation in New York. Fraudulent comments were left by people claiming to live in Florida, Texas, and California in addition to New York. The fake comments were also brought up by FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel before the agency’s vote on net neutrality last year.
Merkley and Toomey suggest in the letter that the FCC consider using CAPTCHA technology to differentiate between humans leaving comments and fake ones. The two senators also asked Pai to answer several questions including:
- How is the FCC working with the Department of Justice to identify those who submitted fake comments?
- Is the FCC working with state attorneys general to determine whether state crimes were broken when these identities were stolen?
- How can the FCC track down who misused the identities of 2 million Americans?
- Is the FCC aware of any foreign government submitting fake comments, and if yes, for what purpose?
“These Senators are asking exactly the right questions,” Evan Greer, the deputy director of digital advocacy group Fight for the Future, said in a statement. “Providing oversight for the FCC is Congress’ job.”
Last week, the Senate voted by a 52 to 47 margin to begin a process using the Congressional Review Act (CRA) that could undo the FCC’s net neutrality decision. The House of Representatives will now vote on the net neutrality CRA. If successful in the House, President Donald Trump would ultimately need to sign it to undo the agency’s decision.
Last year, lawmakers in both the Senate and the House asked for investigations into the fake net neutrality comments.
In response to the Senate’s request, the FCC said lawmakers are being “desperate” in an attempt to delay the net neutrality vote.
You can read all of Merkley and Toomey’s letter here.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).