Reports today show that a DC District Court judge has ordered the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to disclose previously-unreleased information that will assist the public in understanding how millions of fake comments were submitted to the FCC using stolen names and addresses during the agency’s 2017 proceeding to repeal net neutrality. Digital rights group Fight for the Future, who was among the first to launch an investigation into the fake comments and have long called for a full investigation into the fake comments submitted onto the agency’s net neutrality docket, welcomes the court’s decision as a positive step forward for those who had their names fraudulently placed onto the FCC’s record.
The following statement can be attributed to Evan Greer, Fight for the Future’s Deputy Director [pronouns: she / her]:
"My first question is: why is the FCC spending taxpayer dollars fighting journalists in court in order to keep this information secret in the first place? What are they hiding? Who are they covering for?
Fight for the Future is one of many groups that used the FCC’s bulk upload feature to submit real comments from real people concerned about the agency’s repeal of net neutrality. We have no problem with the FCC releasing this information. The only reason to keep it hidden is to prevent the public from learning which groups abused this comment system by submitting fraudulent comments, and who funded them.
Let’s face it, the FCC has lost all credibility since their alleged ‘DDoS attack’ turned out to be an outright lie that they used to downplay the overwhelming opposition to their repeal of net neutrality. This court ruling is a solid step forward for the millions of Internet users and small business owners who took the time to submit real comments opposing the FCC’s net neutrality repeal.
The FCC should comply with this court order immediately and release any and all information they have related to the fraud and abuse that they refused to address during the net neutrality public comment process."
Fight for the Future is one of the groups behind the BattleForTheNet.com campaign and has been actively pressuring Congress to pass the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval to restore the FCC’s 2015 net neutrality protections. In May, the CRA passed the Senate in a historic bipartisan support and activists are now fighting a trench warfare campaign to force a vote in the House of Representatives.