FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, June 12, 2017
Contact: Evan Greer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 978-852-6457
Following weeks of inaction from the FCC thousands have signed a petition calling for the agency to remove fake comments from the docket and publicly disclose any information it may have about the group submitting them.
Over 15,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to remove the comments of people whose names and addresses were used without their permission to submit fake anti-net neutrality statements, and release any information that it has about the group behind the fraudulent submissions.
The petition echoes a publicly released letter signed by over two dozen people who say someone made a false statement to a federal agency in their names.
“Whoever did this violated one of the most basic norms of our democratic society, that each of us have our own voice, and I am eager to know from what source the FCC obtained this falsified affidavit. I have been slandered,” Joel Mullaney, a software engineer who supports net neutrality, told Fight for the Future.
Despite the public requests from victims calling for the FCC to remove the fake comments, supported by mounting evidence , Chairman Ajit Pai and the FCC have taken no steps to remove them from the docket, risking the safety and privacy of potentially hundreds of thousands of people .
“A person or organization has been using stolen names and addresses to fraudulently file comments opposing net neutrality,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future. “Chairman Pai is completely undermining the public’s faith in the FCC and the current public debate about net neutrality protections. The agency has an obligation to remove falsified statements in its procedure and to publicly disclose whatever information it has about who is behind this,” she added.
Thousands of people agree, having signed a petition that echoes the demands of victims and calls for the FCC to take the following actions: “ Notify all who have been impacted by this attack,  remove all of the fraudulent comments, including the ones made in our names, from the public docket immediately,  publicly disclose any information the FCC may have about the group or person behind the 450,000+ fake comments, and  call for an investigation by the appropriate authorities into possible violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1001 (“Making false statements”) and other relevant laws.”
Fight for the Future has launched Comcastroturf.com for Internet users to find out if a fake anti-net neutrality comment was submitted to the FCC in their name and address.
Fight for the Future encourages journalists to investigate this situation, and is calling for the FCC to disclose any information it has pertaining to the person or organization behind this attack. Further, we encourage journalists to ask ISPs like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T whether they are funding this activity, or providing funding for groups that could be engaging in this activity.