Ep. 25: Net Neutrality with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

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According to Schneiderman, the net neutrality feedback process generated more than 23 million total comments, marking an unprecedented level of participation. That is why I support net neutrality. The protests are being organized by Team Internet, a "grassroots network of almost half a million volunteer activists spearheaded by Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, and Free Press Action Fund, three of the groups behind the massive July 12 net neutrality day of action that drove millions of comments, emails, and phone calls to the FCC and Congress".

Citing the findings of Schneiderman's office and other researchers, the senators wrote, "These reports raise serious concerns as to whether the record the FCC is now relying on has been tampered with and merits the full attention of, and investigation by, the FCC before votes on this item are cast".

Schneiderman said there are anecdotal reports of comments coming from dead people, children, fictional characters and Russian email addresses as well as from people whose names were used without their permission. "This is a big step but given the FCC's conduct over the past eight months we remain skeptical", Schneiderman said. The agency has also said it "lacks the resources" to investigate every one of the comment records. "Given the enormous danger to consumers of losing all protections should the Ninth Circuit decide to affirm the panel decision and side with AT&T Mobility, the FCC should delay a vote until the en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit issues its decision", the letter said.

Schneiderman said his office is seeking FCC logs to show the origin of the comments. Now he is FCC chairman and wants to roll back the net neutrality rules that were adopted two years ago.

Although industry groups supporting Chairman Pai agree that, under his watch, the security and integrity of the commenting processing has been deeply compromised, Pai has publicly dismissed Schneiderman's investigation, calling it a "transparent attempt by a partisan supporter of the Obama Administration's heavy-handed Internet regulations to gain publicity for himself".

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Since the open letter was published late last month, roughly 3,000 people from across the country have reached out to Schneiderman's office, including 350 New Yorkers, claiming that their names were used to submit comments without their knowledge, Schneiderman said. "None", Schneiderman said in the letter to Pai.

During a news conference in Manhattan, the Democratic attorney general said he received notification Monday morning that the FCC's inspector general's office would offer assistance in Schneiderman's probe into thousands of possibly phony comments that were left on the FCC's public comment section on the topic of net neutrality, the existing principle that internet service providers-such as Comcast or Verizon-can't slow down, speed up or block internet access for some web sites relative to others.

Twenty-eight USA senators, including Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, also sent a letter to Pai Monday urging him to postpone the vote in light of the investigation.

"Our process for serving the public inter is broken", Rosenworcel said.