The topic of net neutrality has been kicked around quite a bit over the past few weeks. It is obvious opinions are very divided on this front. The recent vote to repeal net neutrality has not been well-received by the general population, mainly because it will change everything we know about the internet. It is due time we had a thorough investigation of this matter, especially given the fraudulent comments filed regarding this proposal.
Russians Commenting on FCC’s Proposal?
Political tensions between the US and Russia have flared on more than one occasion this year. That situation won’t change in the coming years either, as a lot of things are changing behind the scenes. One thing that does warrant a proper investigation is how close to half a million comments on the FCC proposal to repeal net neutrality were made using Russian email addresses. This raises a lot of questions, for obvious reasons, yet no one has offered any explanation for this development.
Moreover, there are also a lot of comments missing from the FCC’s records. That is certainly abnormal, as around 50,000 comments do not simply disappear into thin air – especially not when it comes to crucial topics such as net neutrality, which the FCC was more than eager to reverse. A lot of things just aren’t adding up as far as this “consumer feedback” is concerned, yet no one seems to have batted an eye.
According to some researchers, bots posted comments on the FCC’s proposal in an effort to drown out real people with actual opinions. Whether or not that is true has yet to be determined, but it is certainly possible. Public comments regarding this proposal were generally negative, as no internet service provider should determine which content its customers can access. Moreover, they shouldn’t be able to charge extra for access to specific services either.
At the same time, one has to acknowledge the “public commenting” on net neutrality has a checkered history as well. One could argue that open and fair commenting on such topics has been corrupted for quite some time now. No one knows for sure if any of these comments are even read or taken into account. Given the FCC’s recent repeal of net neutrality laws, it is evident the feedback from average consumers, business, and industry leaders has fallen on deaf ears for the most part.
For the time being, there is an investigation underway by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman regarding the potentially fraudulent comments. We can only hope this investigation turns up some form of solid evidence, for better or worse. It is somewhat saddening to see such a critical decision be subject to more potential corruption, fraud, and dishonesty. Net neutrality matters to everyone, yet only a select few people actually have a say in the decision-making process.
The bigger question is whether the FCC will even bother to look into this matter. Given growing concerns over potential identity theft and the involvement of Russia, it is evident something isn’t adding up. Such important changes like these deserve to be debated in a public forum rather than online. It is uncanny how we still rely on such outdated and anti-public solutions to make decisions which impact everyone on the planet in one way or another. It’s a very troublesome situation that will undoubtedly spark a few more debates moving forward.