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NY AG and senators call for delay of net neutrality vote over fake comments

New York's attorney general says there are at least 1 million fake comments found on the net neutrality public record. He and 28 senators are calling for a delay of the net neutrality vote expected later this month.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Monday called for the FCC to delay its net neutrality vote after the AG office found fake comments on public record debating the 2015 law, done so through identity theft.

Schneiderman and FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said at a news conference on Monday that at least 1 million fake comments were found. According to The Hill, 28 senators are petitioning the FCC to delay its vote on repealing its net neutrality rules citing fake comments as a concern.

"A free and open internet is vital to ensuring a level playing field online, and we believe that your proposed action may be based on an incomplete understanding of the public record in this proceeding," the senators wrote in a letter to FCC chairman Ajit Pai. "In fact, there is good reason to believe that the record may be replete with fake or fraudulent comments, suggesting that your proposal is fundamentally flawed."

The FCC is expected later this month to repeal net neutrality. "Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet," Pai said in November.

"Specifically, for six months my office has been investigating who perpetrated a massive scheme to corrupt the FCC's notice and comment process through the misuse of enormous numbers of real New Yorkers' and other Americans' identities," Schneiderman wrote in a statement on Medium. "Such conduct likely violates state law  -- yet the FCC has refused multiple requests for crucial evidence in its sole possession that is vital to permit that law enforcement investigation to proceed."

Last week, the NY AG office set up a website for people to find any comments that may have misused their identity.

The senators on Monday asked the FCC to cooperate with state and federal level probes, and to investigate the source of the comments.

"At today's news conference, they didn't identify a single comment relied upon in the draft order as being questionable," Tina Pelkey, a spokeswoman for the FCC, told the Washington Post. "This is an attempt by people who want to keep the Obama Administration's heavy-handed internet regulations to delay the vote because they realize that their effort to defeat the plan to restore internet freedom has stalled."

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