Zack Whittaker, ZDNet:
So much so that more than 58,000 identical comments have been posted since the feedback doors were opened, now representing over one-in-ten comments on the FCC’s feedback docket.
“The unprecedented regulatory power the Obama Administration imposed on the internet is smothering innovation, damaging the American economy and obstructing job creation,” the comment says. “I urge the Federal Communications Commission to end the bureaucratic regulatory overreach of the internet known as Title II and restore the bipartisan light-touch regulatory consensus that enabled the internet to flourish for more than 20 years.”
The comments follow the same pattern: the bot appears to cycle through names in an alphabetical order, leaving the person’s name, and postal address and zip code.
We reached out to two-dozen people by phone, and we left voicemails when nobody picked up. A couple of people late Tuesday called back and confirmed that they had not left any messages on the FCC’s website. One of the returning callers specifically said they didn’t know what net neutrality was. A third person reached in a Facebook message Tuesday also confirmed that they had not left any comments on any website.
Several people have pointed out how similar this comment is to a 2010 CFIF anti-net neutrality press release:
“The unprecedented regulatory power the Obama Administration seeks over the Internet is both unnecessary and dangerous,” said Timothy Lee, CFIF’s VP of Legal and Public Affairs. “The type of Net Neutrality regulations the administration seeks to impose on the Internet threaten to cut off tens of billions of dollars in private investment annually, and will cost our struggling economy good-paying American jobs at a time when we can least afford it.”
I doubt the CFIF is being this campaign to discredit the FCC’s open comment process, but this looks like astroturfing by an organization that wants to undo net neutrality rules. If it is, that’s shameful. I hope the FCC ignores these clearly automated comments.