More than two dozen USA senators sent a letter Monday to the Federal Communications Commission, to express concern about the agency's plan to change the net neutrality policy enacted under former President Barack Obama.
Schneiderman and FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel urged the agency's chair, Ajit Pai, to fully cooperate with the state's investigation of more than one million comments that were made nationwide during the public discussion. His office suspects that as many as a million of those comments are linked to stolen identities, including a 13 year old who never submitted a comment, a recently deceased woman and the office of the Attorney General's own assistant press secretary. "So I call on my colleagues to halt this vote until we get to the bottom of what has happened with these stolen identities and the quality of our public record", said Rosenworcel, who was nominated by President Barack Obama to the FCC.
Last week, Schneiderman's office unveiled an online tool that helped people see if their names had been used without their knowledge on comments submitted to the FCC.
Furthermore, protests have been planned throughout the nation over the coming days in opposition to the FCC's "scorched-earth" attack on net neutrality: More than 600 demonstrations are scheduled to take place at Verizon stores and congressional offices across the country on Thursday, exactly one week ahead of the FCC's planned vote.
The FCC acknowledges the problem but points out that numerous fraudulent comments come from people or groups who support the current net neutrality rules.
In all, 27 senators signed the letter - expressing concern that the public comments in the case, a significant part of the FCC's modernization plan, could be corrupted by "bots".More news: Uttar Pradesh, Delhi topped crime list in 2016, says NCRB
More news: Guardiola regrets Redmond rant after City victory
More news: Leclerc joins Ericsson at Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 team
More: Net Neutrality comments were a record.
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".
As Republicans now hold a majority of the FCC's five seats, the order to repeal the net neutrality rules is expected to pass. Twenty-eight USA senators have asked that the vote be postponed due to the allegations of fraud dismissed by Chairman Pai.
Prior to releasing the open letter, the Attorney General's office had contacted the FCC and its top officials at least nine times to request assistance in its investigation.
The spokesperson said that Schneiderman had not identified as fake any comments that were used as part of Pai's proposal.
"The FCC needs to help with state investigations".