NY attorney general: Millions of fake comments taint net neutrality vote

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Millions of fake comments have tainted the net neutrality public-comment process, according to New York's attorney general, who is urging the FCC to delay its much-anticipated and controversial vote.

"Yet the FCC is moving full steam ahead with a vote based on this corrupted process, while refusing to cooperate with an investigation," Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement Wednesday.  "As we've told the FCC: moving forward with this vote would make a mockery of our public comment process and reward those who perpetrated this fraud to advance their own hidden agenda."

Schneiderman said his office's probe turned up at least 2 million comments that stole the identities of real people—a crime under state law.

"The FCC must postpone this vote and work with us to get to the bottom of what happened," Schneiderman said.

New York's top legal officer sent a new letter to the FCC in which he rebuts the commission general counsel's reasons for not cooperating with his investigation.

"You claim the FCC provided public participation and transparency by receiving millions of comments and permitting additional comments during the past two weeks, after it published the interim draft rule," Schneiderman wrote in the letter to General Counsel Thomas Johnson Jr. "Such steps are entirely negated, however, by your actions to permit many millions of fraudulent comments to crowd out or negate millions of Americans' real comments."

Thousands of people have filed reports with the Attorney General's Office about identities used to post fake comments on the FCC's vote, set for December 14, to kill net neutrality rules, Schneiderman said.