The approval of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal in a 3-2 vote marked a victory for internet service providers such as AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon Communications and hands them power over what content consumers can access. This despite efforts by Democrats, Hollywood, and companies such as Alphabet Inc (Google’s parent company) and Facebook Inc to urge the FCC to keep the Obama-era rules barring service providers from blocking, slowing access to, or charging more for certain content.
Although the new rules give internet service providers sweeping powers to change how consumers access the internet, they must also adhere to new transparency requirements that call for them to disclose any changes to consumers.
The FCC said the rules would take effect in a few months after the White House Office of Management and Budget formally approves them.
In the meantime, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement he will lead a multi-state lawsuit to challenge the reversal. As part of the lawsuit, his office is investigating whether public comments regarding net neutrality rules wrongfully used New Yorkers’ identities without their consent.
An area of the net neutrality repeal story that is only now gaining traction is the belief that many of the comments posted on the FCC website that were in favor of repealing the regulations came from fraudulent sources that relied on using the identity of Americans without their consent or knowledge.
Schneiderman said his office is encouraging residents to search the FCC’s public comment website and notify the office if you see any comments that misuse your name and address.
Residents who want to learn more should visit the attorney general’s website at ag.ny.gov/fakecomments.