FCC Officially Responds To Comment System Issues

In Decenternet, News
Net Neutrality Report

FCC finally responded regarding their comment system issues.

 

It has been more than a year since HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver encouraged his followers to flood the Federal Communications Commission with their committed support to bulwark net neutrality preservations. The federal agency’s website then became drowned with comments from net neutrality advocates. Few weeks after, it announced that its Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) or comment system had been attacked by an extensively distributed denial of service (DDoS).

Chairman Ajit Pai and his agency have confirmed to take a look into the matter and fix the issue. It was quoted in Pai’s letter to  Republican Sen. Pat Toomey (PA) and Democrat Sen. Jeff Merkley (OR). Both senators requested the agency to determine and tackle treacherous demeanor in its comment system in May.

According to the two senators, their names were included in the millions that were dishonorably used. The bogus names have agitated a downpour of criticism aimed at the agency. The New York Attorney General is probing into the issue. The Senate together with the House of Representatives demands the agency to crack down on fabricated comments ahead of the debatable vote to repeal net neutrality rules. The agency responded only to say that legislators were “hasty” to contend and interrupt the vote.

However, it seems that the agency is having a different point of view regarding the matter.

“It is troubling that some bad actors submitted comments using false names. Indeed, like you, comments were submitted in my name and my wife’s name that reflect viewpoints we do not hold,” according to Pai’s letter to both senators Toomey and Merkley.

Last month, Pai had been on the hot seat while Senators Ron Wyden and Brian Schatz grilled him regarding the uncertainties destabilizing the credibility of its comment system. Remember that in June 2014 and May 2017, the issue concerning fake comments greatly affected the public’s capability to criticize introduced rulemaking about net neutrality.

Adding to the senators’ queries, reports emerged about the detailed endeavors of FCC officials to press on the “cyber attack” report even if there is insufficient evidence.  The agency used to be dominated by the Democrats in 2014 and reported that no proof supported the occurrence of a cyber attack. When Pai was appointed as the new chairman, the original story had been changed and insisted that there was indeed an attack on its comment system in 2017.

Pai claimed that he asked for the Congress’ consent to spend amount to overhaul its public comments system. A few of the modifications could cover a captcha system or authorize someone who detected a fictitious comment left to send in a letter to the agency that will also be embedded in the public record. This is not the initial fixing of the agency’s comment system. As a matter of fact, it has spent almost $3 million in modernizing its system from 2013 to 2015.

Net neutrality as we know it is the fair treatment of ISPs towards internet content. There are no discrimination and favoritism, especially paid prioritization or zero-rating.

At the Decenternet platform, all contents are treated equally. There are no “slow” or “fast” lanes where providers (at their own will) could put their users according to much they can pay. The open internet is on the platform providing users the freedom to communicate freely online by having limitless access to both decentralized and centralized web.

 


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