More than a dozen people who say anti-Title II comments were submitted to the FCC under their names even though they did not submit them or authorize them have called on the FCC to remove all fraudulent comments, which they suggest could actually number close to a half million.
There are currently over 2.6 million comments in the FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom docket, which is the proposal to roll back Title II classification of ISPs and rethink the rules against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization.
"Our names and personal information were used to file comments we did not make to the Federal Communications Commission," they wrote in a letter to the FCC posted on the Fight for the Future website, a group that backs Title II and has been calling for the FCC to explain and fix problems with its comment system.
"We are disturbed by reports that indicate you have no plans  to remove these fraudulent comments from the public docket," they wrote. "Whoever is behind this stole our names and addresses, publicly exposed our private information without our permission, and used our identities to file a political statement we did not sign onto. Hundreds of thousands of other Americans may have been victimized too."
They want the FCC to: 1) remove all the fraudulent comments immediately, disclose any info it has on who is behind what they allege are 450,000 fake comments and 2) call for an investigation into any laws that may have been broken.
"Nearly half a million Americans may have been impacted by whoever impersonated us in a dishonest and deceitful campaign to manufacture false support for your plan to repeal net neutrality protections," the letter said.
An FCC spokesperson was vetting the letter at presstime.
The letter's signatories—there were 14 of them—were identified through Fight for the Future's comcastroturf.com site, which was in the news earlier this week after Comcast first filed a cease and desist letter about using their name, then said they would take no further action, suggesting the letter had been sent before they knew it was not a cybersquatter looking to monetize their name.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.