The Flim Flam Men

The FCC just voted to end Net Neutrality. The FCC vote was along party lines, note, with all Democratic appointees voting against. This is another case of Republican officials taking a deeply unpopular stand. Polls show 83 percent of Americans favor net neutrality, which includes a majority of tea baggers.

The primary political argument against net neutrality is, of course, that it’s government regulation. I think the wingnuts bought that one for a while. But of course the real reason for ending it is that it allows the big tech companies to squeeze more money out of customers while providing less service. Win/win!

Apparently the FCC had solicited public comments on the issue, but New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman found that there were two million fake comments on the FCC site.

Schneiderman set up a website where people can search the FCC comments for their names to determine if they’ve been impersonated. So far, “over 5,000 people have filed reports with the Attorney General’s office regarding identities used to submit fake comments,” the AG’s announcement said. …

…While the 5,000 reports provide anecdotal evidence, the AG’s office performed an analysis of the 23 million public comments in order to figure out how many were submitted under falsely assumed identities.

Many comments for and against net neutrality rules are identical because advocacy groups urged people to sign form letters, so the text of a comment alone isn’t enough to determine if it was submitted by a real person.

The AG’s office thus examined comment text along with other factors, such as whether names matched lists of stolen identities from known data breaches. Schneiderman’s office also told Ars that it looked into whether or not the submission of comments was in alphabetical order, one after another, in short time periods. In general, analysis of formatting and metadata played a role in the analysis.

Although Schneiderman’s office isn’t saying it, an analysis at Wired magazine suggests the fake comments tended to be opposed to net neutrality. Big surprise.

6 thoughts on “The Flim Flam Men

  1. Even in the current situation, something vitally important like Net Neutrality should be decided by Congress, and not a 5 person panel of un-elected partisan appointees.

    That would also give any decision made the imprimatur of law.

    Law-suits will be filed, so the implementation will probably – HOPEFULLY – be delayed.  Delaying until there's a Democrat in office is probably too much to ask.  But, please FSM, let it be so.

    A reminder:  These are the same awful and hypocritical people who whined, cried, shrieked, screamed, and tore at the hair and garments, whenever something or other that Obama and the Democrats in Congress were trying to pass, was "jammed down their throats" – when, in fact, there were countless hearings in both houses of Congress.

    Now, however, they've given proof in this example – and their odious and mismaned "Tax 'CUT'," that whatever they "project" onto their opponents, is either something they're aleady doing, or they're dreaming of doing. 

    And now, they've truly jammed the monumentally unpopular tax "cut" bill, and negation of Net Neutrality, down 'We the People's' throats!

    In truth, these two things should be called "The Corporate Tax Cut," and "Net Paid-Partiality," of "Net Subjectivity."

    "But, but, but… Hillary's e-mails…" 






  2. In major metro areas, the consumer may have the power of choice. The ISP in Tampa who does NOT attempt to gouge the consumer may get such a surge from people fleeing the companies who exploit the new rules that it will be profitable to maintain and advertise – "We have net-neutrality." 

    It's the town and villages where one company has a monopoly, the rape will be successful. Remind me again – who lives in the rural areas? Granted, this is speculation but the companies who sponsored this are interested in exploiting the Internet for profit. If they can't lock down a monopoly, competition may shut down the plan – especially in urban (democratic) areas. 

    The Tax Cut Bill will revoke the health insurance mandate. For Libertarians and Tea Party Patriots, this may sell fine. MOST conservatives place a high value on a better health care system – which is what Trump and the GOP promised. When 13 million people lose insurance because rates spike, a hundred million people will notice things got worse, not better every time they pay their bill.

    People have been told that wages will double or even quadruple when 100 million new jobs are created by the tax bill. The GOP may think the rubes won't notice wages are stagnant and they are paying more for health insurance and Internet access. I'm not so sure.

  3. Tell the Trumpsters that this means that the establishment elites can delay their access to politically incorrect websites and maybe they will pay attention. 

  4. I will trade my two honorable discharges, all the insane levels of taxes I have paid as a law abiding once long ago shortly married white male for one or two years of a county I can be slightly proud of.  Is that too much for one to ask for.

    I did not serve for a country and pay large tax to subsidize what  is being stolen from our commonwealth by rich people in bed with foreign powers.  What should I expect.  The spit is not dry from the last go around.  Go for it you petty thieves. It's our internet, all of our internet, we built it we paid for it we bought it and now your stealing it.  You would have paid but you had bone spurs and tax havens.  Now it is all yours.  Good for you. You can twist reality to convince some that you deserve it.  Spit on me again for my service.

  5. You wrote "The primary political argument in favor of net neutrality… " Don't you mean " primary political argument in favor of ending net neutrality…" ?

    I think they just jumped the shark on this one. Not only, as you say, are 83 percent of Americans in favor of net neutrality, including a majority of tea baggers, but a lot of pretty important companies are too, like, the whole internet industry.

    Something tells me December 2017 is going to go down in history as the month the Republican Party struck the fatal blow … against itself.



  6. fake comments tended to be opposed to net neutrality


    Good ideas don't need lots of lies told about them.


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