Dead People Mysteriously Support The FCC’s Attack On Net Neutrality
. . . from the something-shady-goin’-on dept
We’ve noted for months how an unknown party has been using bots to bombard the FCC website with entirely bogus support for the agency’s planned attack on net neutrality. Inquiries so far have indicated that whatever group or individual is behind the fake support used a bot that automatically pulled names — in alphabetical order — from a compromised database of some kind. Earlier this year one reporter actually managed to track down some of these folks — who say they never filed such comments or in many instances had no idea what net neutrality even is.
Earlier this year, some reporters discovered that some of the biggest fans of the FCC’s myopic assault on net neutrality appear to be dead:
“As the war over the fate of America’s free and open internet lumbers on, it appears that opponents of net neutrality will do anything in their power to turn control of the internet over to massive telecom companies—including committing fraud. As detailed in a letter sent to the FCC Thursday morning, people are pissed that their personal information was used without their knowledge to post anti-net neutrality comments to the FCC’s website, which includes at least two people who are recently deceased.
Others have since continued to dig through the names used to support Ajit Pai’s attack on net neutrality — and continue to find that many of them had never visited the FCC website, had no idea what net neutrality is, or were no longer breathing. Like John Skalski of Sharpsburg, Georgia — who back in May purportedly submitted this (factually incorrect) comment to the FCC comment proceeding. Note its content is different from the bot-generated comments that had been methodically submitted already:
Which is interesting because John is, well, dead:
“However, if you go to his house on 11 Tee Pee Row, you will unfortunately speak to a kind person who will tell you that John has been passed away since 2016 and no one else there has the same name. Unfortunately, that is a fake public comment. I found Mr. Skalski’s obituary later:
This is where we’ll remind you that the FCC has shown no interest whatsoever in investigating any of this. Similarly, when I contacted the agency to tell them someone else had written a fraudulent comment in my name supporting the attack on net neutrality, I was told there was simply nothing that could be done. Combined with the agency’s apparently fabricated DDoS attack, there’s more than a few indicators that the agency is eager to malign the integrity of the public feedback period in order to try and downplay the massive public backlash to its handout to the telecom industry.
Since the FCC is expected to unveil its full plan ahead of Thanksgiving for what will likely be a vote right before Christmas, contacting your lawmakers on this subject remains of utmost importance. Should the FCC decide to ignore the public and dismantle the protections anyway, it seems more than likely that this recent necromancy will play a starring role in the inevitable lawsuits to come.
TLB recommends other pertinent articles about free speech and the net from Techdirt