Legal Issues

by Karl Bode


Filed Under:
fake comments, fcc, gao, net neutrality



The GAO Says It Will Investigate Bogus Net Neutrality Comments, Eventually

from the fake-people-real-problems dept

The General Accounting Office (GAO) says the agency will launch an investigation into the fraud that occurred during the FCC's rushed repeal of net neutrality rules. Consumers only had one real chance to weigh in during the public comment period of the agency's misleadingly-named "Restoring Internet Freedom" proposal. But "somebody" paid a group or individual to fill the comment period with bogus comments from fake or even dead people, in a ham-fisted attempt to downplay massive, legitimate public opposition to the plan.

The FCC then blocked a law enforcement investigation into the fraud, refusing to hand over server logs or API key data that could easily disclose the culprit(s). FOIA requests and public requests for help (one coming from myself) were also promptly ignored by the Trump FCC.

To help speed things along, the GAO says it will launch an investigation into the bogus comments and the FCC's response to them, though they warn in a letter that it may be at least five months before they have the staff and resources for such an inquiry:

"Thank you for your letter, jointly signed by a number of your colleagues, requesting that the Government Accountability Office review the extent and pervasiveness of fraud and the misuse of American identities during federal rulemaking processes. GAO accepts your request as work that is within the scope of its authority. At the current time we anticipate that staff with the required skills will be available to initiate an engagement in about five months."

The GAO is also currently investigating apparently bogus claims by the FCC that it suffered a malicious "DDOS attack" the same day HBO's John Oliver drove millions of frustrated citizens to the FCC website to chime in on its blatant hand out to the telecom sector. Both the fake comments and the fake DDOS attack appear to be an attempt to undermine trust in the millions of consumers viciously-opposed to the FCC's plan. Both will also play a starring role in the numerous lawsuits headed the FCC's direction for its blatant disregard of the public interest.

If the GAO or these lawsuits can prove the FCC ignored agency guidelines and the Administrative Procedure Act in its rush to cuddle up to AT&T, Verizon and Comcast, the agency's repeal could prove short lived. That's a major reason why ISPs like Comcast and AT&T are pushing hard for new fake net neutrality legislation that would codify federal apathy into law, pre-empting federal and state efforts to restore the rules--or craft tougher restrictions down the road.


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  • icon
    Lord Lidl of Cheem (profile), 25 Jan 2018 @ 6:22am

    They should probably pause the DDOS investigation for a couple of days and get their requests in for the necessary information and records for the fraud investigation BEFORE the FCC has time to claim its been "lost"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2018 @ 6:58am

    Fine. Now melt away, little snowflakes, it's being handled by adults. They know the right way: delay until it's forgotten.

    Save this riveting tale of injustice for your old age. When you're lined up to be processed into Google's Soylent Rainbow, you can mutter, "I'm here only cause back in ought-seventeen, sumbuddy stole my imdemnity and got me on the anti-net-neutrality list! Was an outrage then, and still is!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2018 @ 7:42am

      Re: Fine. Now melt away, little snowflakes, it's being handled by adults. They know the right way: delay until it's forgotten.

      Why do you even bother coming here? Is your life so devoid of meaning that your only outlet is trolling?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Vel the Enigmatic, 25 Jan 2018 @ 9:49am

      Re: Fine. Now melt away, little snowflakes, it's being handled by adults. They know the right way: delay until it's forgotten.

      You're a complete moron if you think it's perfectly fine to illegitimately use someone's name, without knowledge or consent, for a cause they don't believe or want to invest in.

      Congrats on revealing your stupidity, it was brilliantly put.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2018 @ 10:52am

      Re: Fine. Now melt away, little snowflakes, it's being handled by adults. They know the right way: delay until it's forgotten.

      Now we know what it looks like when someone comments whilest having a pinpoint brain haemorrhage.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2018 @ 6:53pm

      Re: Fine. Now melt away, little snowflakes, it's being handled by adults. They know the right way: delay until it's forgotten.

      So what you're saying is out_of_the_ blue is fine with all the times other posters allegedly used his moniker and everything posted under that nickname should be taken as gospel truth, got it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2018 @ 7:45am

    Wow! Did they redact Johanna Ayer's name the first time it was mentioned, forget to redact her title (available in the GAO phone directory so she's easily un-redacted), and then forget to redact her name the second time she was mentioned? Redact-fail!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2018 @ 8:25am

      Re:

      It looks that way. Honestly I think that she would have been less exposed if they didn't redact her. After all, it would probably be obvious if you dug into the structure of GAO anyway even if they redacted 2/3 of the letter.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Iggy, 25 Jan 2018 @ 8:11am

    A taste of whats to come from the FTC

    The speed of this GAO proceeding is a taste of how Net Neutrality violations will be processed by the FTC.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2018 @ 8:36am

    Not Accounting for editing

    It's not the General Accounting Office. It's the Government Accountability Office. The name change happened in the early 1990s. Please correct the misnamed office.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2018 @ 10:20am

    The investigation should be completed...

    ...about the time all the involved officials have left office.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 25 Jan 2018 @ 12:00pm

    Love the secrets act.

    Anyone that doesnt know the secrets act..
    It takes very little to hide things for 20-40 years..
    Esp WHO voted for what, in reps and congress.

    Are these folks being transparent?
    Showing us EVERYTHING??
    Is this just a Giant SHOW that will never get finished?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2018 @ 6:21pm

    Whatever happens, I hope someone gives Pai his walking papers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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