The FCC loses a half-million online comments on their crap net neutrality proposal

The FCC somehow publicly lost public comments on a petition they were mandated to create. It might not matter, anyway. Telecoms are outlobbying net neutrality advocates 3:1. That’s all that matters in all of American government. But due to one provision, the FCC was at least forced to talk about it.

In April, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed a new rule that would allow for corporations to discriminate against certain kinds of speech on the web. By rule, the commission put the proposal up for public comment.

Yesterday, the FCC’s website somehow lost public access to signatures and public comments for a petition to stop it.

Today, the commission said it was vowing to give those people a chance to file again.

…The spokeswoman also politely asked everyone to “please be assured that the commission … is committed to making sure that everyone trying to submit comments will have their views entered into the record.”

The record — if they can keep the website up and running — will show that almost all of the comments are against the new rules, which shouldn’t be a surprise. As former FCC Commissioner Robert M. McDowell pointed out today, consumers stand to gain nothing by having increased FCC oversight of the internet.

On the other end of the influence game, telecoms lobbying for the new rules are outspending their opponents 3 to 1. So you know they stand to gain something.

So, the FCC gets to take sides. Who do you think they will side with? Corporations and their paid lobbyists? That is the official lobbyists in addition to the political hacks who build their careers on donations from special business interests.

Or will they come down on the side of you and me?

Don’t hold your breath too long.

23 thoughts on “The FCC loses a half-million online comments on their crap net neutrality proposal

  1. Ministry of Truth says:

    “FCC giving special help to right-wing TV news company, Democrats allege :
    Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is helping Sinclair expand its reach into TV-owning homes, lawmakers say.”
    Also on Monday, a New York Times story titled “How a Conservative TV Giant Is Ridding Itself of Regulation” said that “Pai has undertaken a deregulatory blitz, enacting or proposing a wish list of fundamental policy changes advocated by [Sinclair Chairman David] Smith and his company.”

    Among other things, Pai’s FCC rolled back broadcast TV station ownership limits, which could help Sinclair complete an acquisition of Tribune Media Company that would let Sinclair reach 72 percent of TV-owning households in the US.
    “‘Classic Propaganda’: Sinclair Broadcasting Pushes Aside Fox News to Become ‘Trump TV'”

  2. Throttled says:

    (8/22/17) “Stop hiding 47,000 net neutrality complaints, advocates tell FCC chair : FCC now says it will release net neutrality complaints “as soon as we can.” The Federal Communications Commission is being pressured to release the text of 47,000 net neutrality complaints before going through with Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to eliminate net neutrality rules.
    Also: “A prisoners’ rights group has accused Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai of having a conflict of interest because he used to represent a prison phone company as a lawyer. Under Pai’s direction, the FCC dropped its court defense of rules capping the intrastate phone rates charged to prisoners. The decision helped prison phone companies—including Pai’s former client, Securus Technologies—continue to charge high prices.

  3. 4theRecord says:

    ⚠️ “New York attorney general slams the FCC for ‘refusal to assist’ investigation into fake comments about net neutrality” (22 Nov 2017)
    ⚠️ “More Than 1 Million FCC Comments Opposing Net Neutrality Were Probably Fake” (Fortune – note in the small print: © 2017 Time Inc. 11/25/17)
    ⚠️ “…Brian Hart, a spokesperson for the FCC says there were roughly 400,000 comments in support of the rules that “appeared to originate from a mailing address based in Russia. However, there is currently no public evidence to back up that claim. (Washington Post 11/24/17)
    ⚠️ Three of the largest internet service providers and the cable television industry’s primary trade association have spent more than a half-billion dollars lobbying the federal government during the past decade on issues that include net neutrality, according to a MapLight analysis.
    ⚠️ One month after Trump moved into the White House: “FCC rescinds claim that AT&T and Verizon violated net neutrality : Republican [and former Verizon lawyer] Ajit Pai halts Wheeler’s net neutrality investigation of zero-rating.” [on 3/2/17 the FCC also rescinded a set of recommendations for boosting broadband infrastructure; a notice of inquiry in a proceeding on 5G wireless network and device security; rescinded a white paper on cybersecurity risk reduction; revoked the designation of nine companies as Lifeline broadband providers; and rescinded a report on modernization of the E-rate program]
    ⚠️ “FCC doubles down on its dead-wrong definition of how the internet works” , and the Trump administration have been set on voting to repeal the Obama-era rules that require that websites be treated equally by internet service providers.

  4. Mike says:

    “When The FCC Kills Net Neutrality, Here’s What Your Internet Will Look Like” (Forbes 11/26/17) “In just a few weeks, the FCC will vote to eliminate net neutrality. The vote isn’t in doubt: with Pai in charge, the anti-neutrality votes have a 3-2 edge.”
    Includes link to “Net Neutrality II: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” (HBO).

  5. Last call says:

    “Debate Rages Over FTC as Web Referee After Net Neutrality Gutted”
    “After net neutrality: How to tell if your ISP is slowing your Internet”
    “Portugal’s internet shows us a world without net neutrality, and it’s ugly”
    “Comcast hints at plan for paid fast lanes after net neutrality repeal : Comcast still won’t block or throttle—but paid prioritization may be on the way.”

  6. Adventure Time says:

    The plan by the Federal Communications Commission to eliminate its net neutrality rules next week is expected to hand a major victory to Internet service providers. But any day now, a federal court is expected to weigh in on a case that could dramatically expand the scope of that deregulation — potentially giving the industry an even bigger win and leaving the government less prepared to handle net neutrality complaints in the future, consumer groups say.

  7. Shameless says:

    “Two Republican members of the Federal Communications Commission face accusations that they violated government ethics rules during appearances at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was given the National Rifle Association’s Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award at CPAC Friday. Accepting the award is almost certainly a violation of government ethics rules, according to Walter Shaub, who was director of the US Office of Government Ethics from 2013 to 2017. Pai has not publicly responded to the accusation. Also on Friday, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly called for the re-election of President Donald Trump during his appearance at CPAC. Advocacy group American Oversight called for an investigation of O’Rielly, saying that he violated a rule against “engaging in partisan political activity while on duty.” The FCC’s vote to eliminate net neutrality rules appears to be the main reason Pai won the NRA award. “Ajit Pai, as you probably already know, saved the Internet,” American Conservative Union (ACU) Executive Director Dan Schneider told the audience during the award presentation.

  8. 4theRecord says:

    Here are the “manipulative” ads Sinclair forced local anchors to read, now airing across the country
    Sinclair faces backlash over media-bashing promos
    News Anchors Reciting Sinclair Propaganda Is Even More Terrifying in Unison
    “How America’s Largest Local TV Owner Turned Its News Anchors Into Soldiers In Trump’s War On The Media”

  9. große Lüge says:

    “FCC accused of “spreading lies” about DDoS hitting comment system : A year later, FCC hasn’t proven that DDoS disrupted net neutrality comments.” “Federal Communications Commission officials are facing more accusations that they lied about the cause of a May 2017 comment website outage that temporarily prevented people from submitting comments on FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to eliminate net neutrality rules.
    The FCC maintains that its system was hit by multiple distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, but it hasn’t provided evidence publicly to support that claim. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) is investigating the FCC’s DDoS claims at the urging of Democratic lawmakers.”

  10. Update says:

    Sinclair Broadcast Group’s acquisition of Tribune Media Company has run into a major roadblock at the Federal Communications Commission. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said he won’t approve the Sinclair/Tribune acquisition as it’s currently structured, saying Sinclair’s plans for divested stations would violate the law. Pai is recommending that the merger be reviewed by an administrative law judge, a move that could ultimately kill the deal.
    Pai’s decisions came after months of pressure from Democratic lawmakers, consumer advocacy groups, and industry lobby groups. Pai has been repeatedly accused of making regulatory changes that benefit Sinclair; the FCC’s inspector general in February agreed to investigate whether Pai has improperly coordinated with Sinclair on rule changes.

  11. Hokey Pokey says:

    “NYT sues FCC, says it hid evidence of Russia meddling in net neutrality repeal :
    FCC broke law by hiding net neutrality comment records, lawsuit alleges.” (Ars Technica 9/21/18) The New York Times has sued the Federal Communications Commission over the agency’s refusal to release records that the Times believes might shed light on Russian interference in the net neutrality repeal proceeding.
    The Times made a Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) request in June 2017 for FCC server logs related to the system for accepting public comments on FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s repeal of net neutrality rules. The FCC refused to provide the records, telling the Times that doing so would jeopardize the privacy of commenters and the effectiveness of the agency’s IT security practices and that fulfilling the records request would be overly burdensome.
    This led to a months-long process in which the Times repeatedly narrowed its public records request in order to overcome the FCC’s various objections. But the FCC still refuses to release any of the records requested by the Times, so the newspaper sued the commission yesterday in US District Court for the Southern District of New York. (includes link to Time’s complaint)

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