back to article Did you unwittingly support the destruction of net neutrality rules?

The New York Attorney General has doubled-down on his effort to review the recent net neutrality comment process, producing a search page for individuals to find out if their name was used to send in a comment. Eric Schneiderman has repeatedly warned that millions of fake comments – using real people's names but without their …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    queue remoaners wanting a similar tool in the UK to validate brexit votes (:

    i can see remoaners wanting a similar tool in the UK as they believe that brexit voters really wanted to remain.

    I do not agree though that so many US voters where in favour of destructing net neutrality rules.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: queue remoaners wanting a similar tool in the UK to validate brexit votes (:

      "I do not agree though that so many US voters where in favour of destructing net neutrality rules."

      Do you really understand the driving issue behind net neutrality?

      Do you understand the peering agreements that make up the internet?

      When you put net neutrality in those terms, you're looking at a very different argument that many see in the press. How net freedom and freedom of speech are at risk.

      That's not the issue. Follow the money.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: queue remoaners wanting a similar tool in the UK to validate brexit votes (:

        That's not the issue. Follow the money.

        ^^^^ Would love to give more than one upvote. It's a cardinal rule...always and without fail.

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: queue remoaners wanting a similar tool in the UK to validate brexit votes (:

        Re: Freedom of Speech.... (See Twitter, Facebook, and Google (e.g. YouTube)...

        NEWSFLASH: We haven't had this "Freedom of Speach" of which you speak of, for quite a while now.

        So mythbusted...

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: queue remoaners wanting a similar tool in the UK to validate brexit votes (:

      You are familiar with the term "secret ballot", right?

      There's a huge difference between comments, freely and openly submitted to a public body, and - votes.

      I'm pretty sure you know that. Don't you? Currently I'm guessing that the artful spelling misteaks are just part of the troll.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: queue remoaners wanting a similar tool in the UK to validate brexit votes (:

      >remoaners

      That word alone marks you out as a tool of the highest order.

  2. unwarranted triumphalism

    Imposing these unneccessary regulations on the internet will stifle innovation and harm the economy.

    1. Jared Vanderbilt
      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Bot of the other type.

        With enough advertising and new facts, ISPs do not even need bots of the electronic type. They have programmed bots of the biological type.

  3. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Most amusing

    Try searching as "Jason Rammed". (No, I've never met anyone with the surname "Rammed".) A whole lot of Jasons posted

    "Before leaving office, the Obama Administration rammed through a massive scheme that gave the federal government broad regulatory control over the internet. That misguided policy decision is threatening innovation and hurting broadband investment in one of the largest and most important sectors of the U.S. economy. I support the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to roll back Title II and allow for free market principles to guide our digital economy."

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Most amusing

      A lot of Rolands posted exactly the same comment.

      Another repeated posting is:

      "The current FCC regulatory scheme known as "Title II" represents an unprecedented increase in government control over the internet. Such over-regulation is hurting our economy and suffocating innovation. I support Chairman Pai's plan to return to a commonsense regulatory framework that allows for the internet to grow without useless government interference. The internet has flourished for decades without the heavy hand of government over-regulation. It’s time we return to what works."

  4. 4til7

    Ugh... I posted and it ate my comments. The short version is that NY AG hasn't tested his own form. Otherwise, he would've added some version of city, state and postal code to the search form. You can achieve the same thing by going to the official FCC search form at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/ Once you're, there:

    Under Proceeding Name, enter 17-108

    Name of Filer, enter your name

    Under City, State or Zip Code, enter the appropriate information

    In my case, that reduced my results from 209 to 3.

    1. Bob Dole (tm)

      You can achieve the same thing by going to the official FCC search form at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/ Once you're, there:

      Funny thing. I looked up my name, and although it clearly wasn't me I agreed with what was said. Good enough then.

    2. Chemical Bob

      Re: In my case, that reduced my results from 209 to 3.

      Until I read your post I was impressed to find myself in there 6 times

  5. 4til7

    VERY simple search form

    The search form allows someone to search by their name, _just_ their name. For a common name, the search results go on for many many pages. In my case, it came up with 209 matches. All you Bobs, Tims and Johns can move along now, there's nothing to see.

    UNLESS, you use the official search form (https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/) and fill out your name (under Name of Filer), proceeding name (under Specify Proceeding enter 17-108) AND some combination of city, state and postal code.

    Searching that way I reduce by search results to three. I happily discovered my information hadn't been used improperly. Unfortunately, I also discovered another person with my name in my city is a wing nut who believes one phone company and one cable company provide competition and that that will protect the public. Ah well. Mixed victories.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: VERY simple search form

      Not really. My name was used, but not with my real address. And you can see my name is uncommon.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "Not really. My name was used, but not with my real address."

        Sounds like the thin end of an identity theft to me.

        Did you report it?

      2. breakfast

        Re: VERY simple search form

        If that is your real name and you aren't working for Monsanto, nominative determinism is dead.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Notas Badoff

    Strange pattern

    Searched and I'm not in there, but found a couple roads named for me (woo?).

    But in looking at comments I noticed something weird. Comments saying "keep net neutrality" were about that short.

    Comments against net neutrality went on and on and on. Mentioning 'obama' and economy and freedom and ISPs and title this/that, all in quite highfalutin language. Either people were copy-pasting from many different advocacy sites (all alike), or the comments were generated by a randomizing bot, or there are 100's of thousands of sophisticated Americans highly knowledgeable about technology that are all 'conservative' and completely invisible in all other situations.

    Sorry, I don't believe that many well-informed citizens exist in any country on *any* one subject.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Strange pattern

      Or the ones wanting to keep net neutrality generated millions of obviously fake messages in support of Pai so that they could claim the entire process was rigged.

      1. veti Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Strange pattern

        Or the ones wanting to destroy net neutrality generated millions of obviously fake messages in support of Pai so that they could claim the anti-net-neutrality partisans had done it to make it look as if the process was rigged.

        Or the pro-net-neutrality crowd generated them to make it look as if their opponents were setting them up to make it look as if they were etc.

        Or maybe all of the above. There's a lot of comments, who's to say all the bots were run by the same people?

        If you're going to cry 'false flag', why stop at one level?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Strange pattern

          If you're going to cry 'false flag', why stop at one level?

          That's what Hilary said to the Belgian Illuminati when they arranged to put up a joke Republican candidate to ensure her landslide

          1. Michael Habel Silver badge

            Re: Strange pattern

            In all fairness given a fair shot... (Which was NOT afforded to Mr. Sanders), Berry the HIV Infected Flea would've crushed ol' Killary Rotten Clinton. It happened sadly in 2008, and thankfully again in 2016. But, hay Hillary gal keep running, and give us Trump 2020!

          2. spacecadet66

            Re: Strange pattern

            Yeah, whatever happened to that guy anyway?

            1. Michael Habel Silver badge

              Re: Strange pattern

              Who Sanders? I think he went back to the Senate.

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                Re: Strange pattern

                Listening to an old Mock the Week sketch: suddenly President Schwarzenegger doesn't sound like "the worst thing you can hear form the Whitehouse

  8. Mark C 2

    I tried a random list of names and many of the comments against NN were exactly the same, almost as if they were C&P.

  9. EveryTime Silver badge

    I tried my name.

    It's odd that so many commenter that shared my name capitalize only their first name, and not their surname. I've never seen a human do that before.

    We all apparently have the same opinion though, word for word: "Imposing these unneccessary regulations on the internet will stifle innovation and harm the economy." /s Or something to do with ramming something somewhere.

    Sadly, I think this controversy is just a tempest in a teapot. Neither the comments nor a clear indication of the overwhelming desire of the taxpayers is enough to change the already-decided vote.

  10. Brian Souder 1

    Does This Look Like Bot To Anyone Else

    I did a search just to see what came up. This guy seems to say the same thing over and over on certain windows of dates.

    https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/filings?limit=25&offset=0&proceedings_name=17-108&q=Brian%20Souder&sort=date_disseminated,DESC

  11. Brian Souder 1

    From the search - this repeats a lot:

    Brief CommentI am in favor of strong net neutrality under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. Sincerely,

    http://deadline.com/2017/05/john-oliver-donald-trump-fcc-net-neutrality-ajit-pai-1202086601/

    But, “if it seems too complicated, don’t worry,” Oliver assured. “That’s why we bought the URL ‘gofccyourself.com’,” which he said will take care of Steps 1-5. Use it to tell Pai “you support strong net neutrality backed by Title II oversight of ISP’s,” Oliver said – that last part being really important.

  12. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Does this mean the NY DA has evidence of large scale identity theft?

    Because it sort of looks that way.

    I'd also call that an interfering with a Federal decision making process, which I'm guessing is a Federal crime of some sort as well (at least if it's as blatant as this seems to be).

    1. breakfast

      Re: Does this mean the NY DA has evidence of large scale identity theft?

      It certainly looks that way, also a new and pernicious variety of identity theft which we can anticipate seeing happening much more in future.

      Of course, in this specific case it may be that the emails would all track back to the correct ISP for that user and even to the correct endpoint. Given who the players are in this case it seems a little hazardous to trust anything short of physical letters or in-person meetings.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And I always post here anonymously because I'd likely be fired for having political views contrary to those of my employer.

    The whole argument that the FCC has no role in regulating this is ludicrous. It wasn't the FTC that guaranteed that AT&T's rivals had equal access to their formerly monopoly network. It was the FCC.

    What the telecos and cablecos are afraid of is that if Congress were to actually grant the FCC Title II power over Internet connectivity, the disinfecting light of day thrown on their back room deals would end their parasitical hold over the network.

  14. Wolfclaw Silver badge

    Follow the shredded paper trial and you will find the dirty finger prints of big ISP's, supporters within the FCC and politicians getting donations !

  15. TechnicalBen Silver badge

    Honest problems, dishonest gain.

    Even if there are honest problems with a specific law or regulation, the way the ISPs are pushing the arguments seems disingenuous.

    I've never seen anyone say "our peering network requires packet inspection" or "We need to charge Google/Facebook for the network traffic, and they pay to low". Which would suggest actual non-payment to ISPs/backhaul firms from Netflix and Youtube etc.

    But instead, they argue "innovation" and "competition" for inspecting the packets of *consumers* to know not where or how much bandwidth (the actual cost and service from the ISP) but *who* and *why* they are using the internet to charge them for services *other companies are providing*.

    I cannot see any company getting away with that. Use a particular brand of coffee? Suddenly it "costs extra to provide petrol for coffee transportation across our consumers Ford Pickup Trucks!" Well your car manufacture is going to charge you double for your "gas"! Yes, that sounds ludicrous, but is "innovative" in business, right? That is what the ISPs wish to do. You already purchased the truck, the road tax and the gas... now they want to charge you extra because they realised Starbucks makes so much cash, and they want "in" on it anyway they can. If they spot you drinking coffee, they turn up with "packet inspecting" base ball bats and Samuel L Jackson. ;)

    I hope they destroy their business practices either way after this extremely dishonest attack they have made.

  16. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Improvements in future public comment processes

    Totalitarian governments don't care about public comments. And that's where we're headed.

  17. unwarranted triumphalism

    'Unwittingly'

    I'm against imposing bureaucratic and anti-free-speech rules on the internet.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: 'Unwittingly'

      I'm against imposing bureaucratic and anti-free-speech rules on the internet.

      Good for you. Now, are you sure that you took your 2pm medication dose? It's quite important to not miss out your anti-psychotics.

  18. Michael Habel Silver badge

    So anyone who's against removing Net Neutrality. Thinks the likes of Netflix should be given a pass for all the Traffic they eat up? While paying the same freight charges as the Website to SpaceJam? Which probably is lucky to see traffic in the 10s of visitors a year. Something doesn't seem right about this.

    Tiered Internet memes from 2014 (i.e. you can only visit this Site if you've paid us that amount), would be shut down faster than the next ISP that decided NOT to do that to their customers.

    And, again... The so-called "hindrance" of free sprach? Seems to me... That if you just happen to hold some unpopular opinion... *cough* MAGA *cough*, or your just reasonable enough to recognize that most lifeforms have just the TWO SEXES... (And, anything else is a mental health issue). Than yeah... Let us speak of this mythical freedom of speech thing, and how repealing Obummer era Net Neutrality is somehow gonna place an even greater burden on said freedom.

    Seems to me the Internet got on just fine between it's inception, and what was it? 2015 when Obummer signed the Bill. >Implying the Internet will die with it's repeal. Perhaps you lot should stop over reacting, and read the FCC proposal instead.

    1. DasWezel

      Is that you, Bombtastic Bob?

    2. Swarthy Silver badge

      A few flaws in your arguements

      Why do you think Netflix gets a free pass? They pay their provider for their bandwidth, and I pay my provider for mine. Why should my ISP be able to charge me for the Netflix traffic that they are already being paid for?

      Point the second, regarding the "Tiered Internet memes from 2014": Funnily enough, it was around then when I discovered that it was faster/better to watch YouTube videos on my 4g connection than it was to watch them on my wifi. That cleared up right around the time that Title II was being talked about. So yeah, I can see that happening.

      Now run along and replace your Keurig, so you can destroy another one for being "Un-American"

  19. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Schneiderman the Shyster

    The commenting system will always be a bit of a mess as various groups try to 'stuff the ballot' with friendly comments. To some extent, these comments can be filtered out if those monitoring have a couple of functioning brain cells. Looking at the comment search for myself, I did not find any unusual activity.

    Given the Shyster's histrionics on other issues I tend to dismiss his antics as those of spoiled brat.

  20. Alter Hase

    My non-techie wife supports elimination of net neutrality....

    I didn't find my name on the NY Attorney General's list, but I did find my wife's name and our address with a comment supporting the elimination of net neutrality. Which is strange, because she has not used a computer or e-mail for over two years due to illness....

  21. Nimby
    Joke

    I'm a little disappointed.

    No one spoofed me, not even another me in another place or another time. Is my name not good enough for people to steal?

    On the plus side, I did find a couple of people used the term "NIMBY", which kind of goes to show just how bad the search tool actually is, that its results would also show when other people say your name in their own comments. I would think that a name search would, you know, at least be smart enough to limit the search to names. Oh well. Government in action!

    Maybe next election I'll run for resident of the United States. I think I have a real shot at winning! (Welcome to our OOL...)

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