Dem senator: Someone used my identity to file a fake anti-net neutrality comment

Dem senator: Someone used my identity to file a fake anti-net neutrality comment
© Greg Nash

Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleySunk judicial pick spills over into Supreme Court fight Controversial Trump judicial nominee withdraws Anti-Trump protesters hold candlelight vigil by White House MORE (D-Ore.) said Monday that someone posted an anti-net neutrality comment in his name.

“Turns out someone impersonated me during the FCC’s [Federal Communications Commission] net neutrality comment period – further proof of forged comments in this process,” Merkley tweeted, along with a screenshot of the comment, which used his name and address, which was redacted. “We need to get to the bottom of this and demand justice for those who sought to be heard.”

Days before the FCC voted to repeal the Obama-era net neutrality regulations, studies found that the FCC’s public comment system had been flooded with thousands of fake comments, including users impersonating others, duplicating comments and using identities of deceased people.

The Pew Research center found that only 6 percent of the nearly 22 million comments were unique. 

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“The FCC’s Net Neutrality rules were written in the Obama White House by political staff and Tech industry special interests who overruled the FCC’s own experts,” read the fake comment from a user impersonating Merkley. “The FCC’s own chief economist Tim Brennan called the rules ‘an economics-free zone.’ They should be repealed.”

The revelation about the fake comments prompted lawmakers to call for the vote to be delayed, and the FCC rejected the New York attorney general’s request to probe the comments. 

The net neutrality rules required internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally, and the FCC’s repeal has sparked outrage among Democrats, activists and some tech companies.