A number of studies have found that numerous comments may have been submitted by bots in an effort to influence the public record. For decades, it has served as the medium by which many people around the globe have connected and learned from each other and in its wake, technology has expanded dozens of times over to facilitate these connections via email, instant messaging and now video calling.
The Attorney General's Office has set up a website for New Yorkers where you can check to see if your identity was used without your consent. Between June and November, Schneiderman's office requested logs and "other records" from the FCC nine times, but has received "no substantive response to our investigative requests".
More than 22 million comments were submitted online to the FCC about net neutrality.
The FCC's plan to roll back Title II Net Neutrality regulations has been the subject of dire controversy and heated debate lately.
"[It is] incumbent upon the FCC and all of my colleagues to stand back, figure out what's in this record before us and get to the bottom of these stolen identities", said Rosenworcel.
Without the FCC's help, the New York Attorney General's office recently launched a webpage that allows Americans to search the FCC comment system to find out whether their identities had been stolen.
"They just have to stop this vote", Schneiderman said at a press conference.More news: Ohio State heads to Cotton Bowl vs USC
Schneiderman cited reports that that half a million of the comments appear to have been filed from Russian email addresses, a fact that net neutrality advocates likely hope will stoke further public interest in the often dry proceedings of the communications regulatory body. And the son of a woman from Albany contacted Schneiderman's office, he said, to report that she had passed away a month before the comment was submitted.
Schneiderman says tens of thousands of people across the country may have had their names attached to the fake submissions.
Schneiderman was joined on stage by democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, an Obama-era appointee who was reappointed by the Trump administration. Public Knowledge contends that this would leave consumers at the mercy of internet service providers.
The burdensome regulations in question, of course, are those preventing your internet service provider from charging you extra to access certain websites and services, preventing your internet service provider from throttling speeds on their competitor's sites.
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 U.S. senators have asked that the vote be postponed due to the allegations of fraud dismissed by Chairman Pai.
"50,000 #NetNeutrality consumer complaints vs. the @FCC majority's draft order that says no conduct rules are necessary", Clyburn tweeted Monday.
Added Rosenworcel: "Distressingly, the FCC has been unwilling to assist a law enforcement investigation into some of these problems".