Attorney General Janet Mills and 17 other Attorneys General wrote to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking the Commission to delay its rulemaking deadline because of falsified comments made to the FCC.
"A careful review of the publicly available information revealed a pattern of fake submissions using the names of real people. In fact, there may be over one million fake submissions from across the country. This is akin to identity theft on a massive scale - and theft of someone's voice in a democracy is particularly concerning," wrote the Attorneys General.
Attorney General Mills announced her opposition to the FCC's stated intention to reverse Net Neutrality rules when the pending vote was announced in November, and is reviewing the proposal and discussing options with other attorneys general to protect consumers' rights. Since then the Attorney General's office has received complaints from Maine residents who have found comments submitted in their name to the FCC in support of the proposed rule change that they did not submit.
Attorney General Mills, along with 12 other attorneys general, also submitted comments to the FCC in opposition to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking when it was originally announced in July.
"This is an assault on the public commons. Individuals and businesses use the Internet every day to do our banking, to pay our bills, to do our schoolwork, and to do our jobs," said Attorney General Mills. "This proposal will allow service providers to limit and slow down access to information based on their values and economic interests. The idea that we should all be able to access the same parts of the web and use applications freely, without interference from a provider, is critical to the free exchange of ideas fundamental to our democracy." The Attorneys General ended the letter by writing, "It is essential that the Commission gets a full and accurate picture of how changes to net neutrality will affect the everyday lives of Americans before they can act on such sweeping policy changes"