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The Internet Communications Crime Government United States Technology

Was Your Name Stolen To Support Killing Net Neutrality? (dslreports.com) 128

An anonymous reader quotes a report from DSLReports: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched a new tool for users interested in knowing whether their identity was stolen and used to fraudulently support the FCC's attack on popular net neutrality rules. The NY AG's office announced earlier this month that it was investigating identity theft and comment fraud during the FCC's public comment period. Researchers have noted repeatedly how "someone" used a bot to fill the comment proceeding with bogus support for the FCC plan, with many of the names being those of folks who'd never heard of net neutrality -- or were even dead. The new AG tool streamlines the act of searching the FCC proceeding for comments filed falsely in your name, and lets you contribute your findings to the AG's ongoing investigation into identity theft.

"Such conduct likely violates state law -- yet the FCC has refused multiple requests for crucial evidence in its sole possession that is vital to permit that law enforcement investigation to proceed," noted Schneiderman. "We reached out for assistance to multiple top FCC officials, including you, three successive acting FCC General Counsels, and the FCC's Inspector General. We offered to keep the requested records confidential, as we had done when my office and the FCC shared information and documents as part of past investigative work." "Yet we have received no substantive response to our investigative requests," stated the AG. "None." As such, the AG is taking its fight to the public itself.

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Was Your Name Stolen To Support Killing Net Neutrality?

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  • my name was used but it was the other guy with the same name. I think he is legit, we just share the same name.
    • by Sebby ( 238625 )
      Did both of you not provide an address?
    • I also found my name but a completely different state. I suspect it's someone with the same name
    • I was not on the list but my mother was. Name, address, the works. She doesn't even know what NN is.
    • by hAckz0r ( 989977 )
      There are all kinds of people using my name. I never knew there were so many near by. The ones with pro net neutrality were organized, thoughtful, and polite. The ones against, without a full address, were spamming the filings database with an obvious cut and paste of the exact same message over and over and over and....

      Idiots. Well, what can I say. Someone *is* making *me* look like a total idiot. Well, for anyone that knows my name and that I live in this zipcode.

  • Checking (Score:5, Funny)

    by Translation Error ( 1176675 ) on Friday December 01, 2017 @05:00PM (#55660723)
    *click*
    Oh, my god--a hit! *click*
    It has my actual address! I can't believe someone used my name to post a comment ... in favor of net neutrality? Oh... right. Yeah, that was me. Never mind.
  • If they're choosing to be complicit in having your name used without your consent, then they're complicit to a crime. If everyone affected sues the FCC, they'll have a fun time dealing with the individual court cases across all the different states!
    • Trump would probably just pardon them.

      • by Sebby ( 238625 )
        As was recently indicated (in Trump's first/last pardon), the act of the pardon implies (and even acknowledges) guilt, which means there's even more potential for suits if they get pardoned (likely at other state levels - I don't know the details of the possibilities).
        • by Anonymous Coward

          https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/17/us/politics/obama-commutes-bulk-of-chelsea-mannings-sentence.html?_r=0

      • Trump can pardon criminals who violated Federal law. He can, within limits, have the Department of Justice refuse to investigate something. He can't pardon offenses against state law (that's usually the state governor's prerogative). He can't dismiss civil lawsuits. If there's ground to file civil lawsuits against the FCC or anyone in it, they would go ahead despite what Trump could do.

    • I'm imagining Ajit Pai in a prison cell, doing up to 7 years for identity theft. Wouldn't that be great?
      • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
        No, that means he'd be out in 4 years.
  • by EnigmaticSource ( 649695 ) on Friday December 01, 2017 @05:03PM (#55660761)

    Yep, got me here too; even though I have a previous accepted, disseminated comment supporting the Title II restrictions. Funny though how the duplicate got nearly everything right, except where I actually live, and that I might actually not be braindead.

    I shouldn't say I'm surprised, I'm not, just oh, oh so jaded.

    • I got a hit - it just so happens that the comment is pro net neutrality, which I agree with. I suppose there are spambots on both sides of the fight. It could also be someone with the same name, though, so unless you've got a tremendously unique name, I'm not sure how you prove that the comment is fabricated.

      • Well, in my case at least the first comment (the one I made) actually has the proper information, and is diametrically opposed to the fake one; so at least in my case it's easy to prove that at least 1 is fake.

        If it'd remove the stain from my name, I'd gladly see both of them go away (as my proper name is well, unique... can't blame the stupid on someone else if you're the only person on the planet with that name.)

      • I suppose there are spambots on both sides of the fight.

        While using the tool to look for comments from me, I was shown pages and pages and pages of comments from the same guy with the same address with the same comment. Probably a couple hundred or more. All in favor of net neutrality.

        So yes, the spambots were running on both sides. What do you expect for an issue that has to do with computers using a forum that has no authentication at all? Does the FCC even have a captcha on the submission system?

    • If it is a different address it is just a different person. There are probably 10s of thousands of people with your name.

      • Nope, just the one. It's disappointing I know, but I'm the only one. (Made sure my kids have proper sounding, but globally unique names as well [at time of birth, YMMV, etc.])

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Some idiot spammed a comment box with fake names, but I don't see why it matters so much--this isn't a vote.

      The real problem is that the Republicans sold us out to lobbyists on this one. I'd focus more on that being a stupid decision that leaves us at the mercy of predatory monopolies than who stuffed what in a public comment box that they ignored anyhow.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    yet the FCC has refused multiple requests for crucial evidence in its sole possession that is vital to permit that law enforcement investigation to proceed

    Do you really think the crooked industry shills running the FCC don't know this happened? Do you think they don't know it was the ISPs themselves or someone hired by them who did this?

    The entire fucking FCC is pretty much on the payroll of the large ISPs/cable companies, was on the payroll of the large ISPs/cable companies, or will return to being on the

    • Make no mistake about it, the FCC is refusing to participate because they know the comments are fake, they just don't care because that is the outcome which was paid for.

      Sorry, but you're the naive one: the comments are not a popular vote. They did not produce any outcome.

      • by Jeremi ( 14640 )

        Sorry, but you're the naive one: the comments are not a popular vote. They did not produce any outcome.

        Of course they did; everything has an outcome. They didn't produce a decision, for the reasons you mentioned, but the outcome they produced was to give the anti-net neutrality people the illusion of having popular support for their plans.

        • but the outcome they produced was to give the anti-net neutrality people the illusion of having popular support for their plans.

          I could buy that if there was the first glimmer of anyone keeping score on comment volume other than the the bitter, disgruntled NetNeut fanbase. Are you aware of any source at all that said anything close to "yay -- we got the most votes -- we win"?

  • FCC will just claim that because of spam, they didn't take any comments into consideration.
  • Motherfsckers.

    Well, this could be a fun Slashdot poll.

    Anybody know how I object to this, besides filling out the NY form?

    • His home address:

      Ajit Pai
      4868 Old Dominion Dr
      Arlington, VA 22207-2743


      What you do with that information is up to you. But to get you started, here is an idea... [bombshock.com]
  • But not the name you're seeing here.

    And the comments are so botty.

  • I'm glad I saw this. Found both my real comment (pro NN) at my home address and that really common fake anti title II comment using my work address.

    The fake was submitted in august. Sometime in the last 3-6 months I started getting spam phone calls to my work, using my name. Makes me wonder if they are related.

    I filled out the AG's complaint page for whatever that is worth, even though I don't live in NY

  • My 90 year old grandparents are both on this list... They don't even own a computer, smart phones, or have an internet connection, but apparently they have very strong opinions about the internet's future!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Do their opinions sound like this:

      Before leaving office, the Obama Administration rammed through a massive scheme that gave the federal government broad regulatory control over the internet. That misguided policy decision is threatening innovation and hurting broadband investment in one of the largest and most important sectors of the U.S. economy. I support the Federal Communications CommissionÍs decision to roll back Title II and allow for free market principles to guide our digital economy.

      The curre

  • 58 hits and I can't see a way to filter out the city/state.

  • by SlaveToTheGrind ( 546262 ) on Friday December 01, 2017 @06:04PM (#55661173)

    Eric Schneiderman, who is on record characterizing voter fraud as an "imaginary problem," has decided to beat his chest and make political hay out of the idea that people may have misappropriated identities for something that wasn't even a vote . I wish I could say I was surprised.

  • There I am.
  • Proud to say my fellow namesakes all supported net neutrality.

    There was one shill that didn't, but his first is my last and vice versa... and clearly a partisan hack.

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Friday December 01, 2017 @08:40PM (#55661941)

    doesn't matter if the feds are running it or not.

    there were bogus names FOR and AGAINST NN.

    Trying to figure out how many people support it or don't support it is not possibly by looking at the FCC's polling.

    And more importantly, does anyone really care?

    Let us say for the sake of argument that the polling were totally 100 percent accurate... would that change anyone's opinion on the matter? Nope. So why does it matter when its a dumpster fire? It doesn't.

    Its a joke.

    There is corruption on the issue everywhere. For AND against are both corrupt.

    There are arguments to do it either way for various reasons.

    The FOR campaign can point to bad behavior by monopolistic agencies that abuse consumers.

    The AGAINST campaign can point to bad behavior by monopolistic agencies that abuse consumers.

    BOTH sides accuse the other of being in the pocket of billion dollar mega corporations.

    Consider that NN and anti-NN are both right at the same time for the same reason. Consider that the corruption is bigger and thus encompasses both positions at once.

  • For Net Neutrality (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kaoshin ( 110328 ) on Friday December 01, 2017 @08:57PM (#55661993)

    I don't care what the other hundred fake me's might have spammed, here's the deal. I and most of my friends are conservative southerners, some more hardcore than others. A group of us had a discussion today on this and I was expecting to clash with them on the issue, but surprising enough, everyone seemed to be in unanimous agreement that Ajit Pai's argument was flawed or at least that ending net neutrality was bad. Some of us also find it concerning that particular republicans who were otherwise thought to be a voice of reason are on board with abolishing net neutrality, and that leaves us kind of conflicted.

    Not sure where I heard this, but I remember a saying to the effect of... yall can do whatever you want to Americans, but don't ever get between their couch and their T.V. I kind of feel for similar reasons, railroading this could really backfire for Republicans. IMO, ending neutraility probably won't last because it would create too much of an uproar, but you can bet Republicans will have a hard time living down the mess from trying. This all doesn't make a lick of sense to me except that this guy is a crook. They need to drain this dude at the FCC with the rest of the swamp as far as I'm concerned. This whole thing stinks like a load of crap if you ask me.

  • I typed in my last name and found that both my parents submitted the exact same text:

    Before leaving office, the Obama Administration rammed through a massive scheme that gave the federal government broad regulatory control over the internet. That misguided policy decision is threatening innovation and hurting broadband investment in one of the largest and most important sectors of the U.S. economy. I support the Federal Communications Commission's decision to roll back Title II and allow for free market principles to guide our digital economy.

    This is highly suspicious because these two don't agree on ANYTHING.

  • for what its worth, for those interested - I got six hits. But they were for other addresses which may or may not be real.. 3 were pro-neutrality, 3 were anti-neutrality.
    The pro neutrality ones were unique and well written, in general, maybe with one or two spelling mistakes. Short, and fairly to the point.
    The anti-neutrality ones? well, here's an example of one of them. They were all like this or similar ones with words replaced. Its just a giant block of what looks to be randomly cut out of a muc
  • Looks like the spambots are stealing cartoon character identities also.. misspelled even. Ha. https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filin... [fcc.gov]
  • I found this one, with my wife's aunt's correct name and address: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filin... [fcc.gov]

    Only problem is that she died in 2006.

  • My name is extremely common. There are 60 results, looking at the comments it actually has the State and City though. But, there is most certainly something strange going on here...MANY of these comments say exactly the same thing! Both "sides" are copy n pasting.
  • I put in my name and got nearly 120 results found. But most of them didn't share either my first or last name. A lot of them did share my name though and everyone I checked put in something other than my own address. Okay, when I put my name in quotes I only got about 50 hits and most seemed to actually share my name but there's still no way to narrow it down further.

    I have no reason to doubt that those people are real. But I couldn't punch in my name and ZIP code and I'm not going to click on that ma

  • The FCC has a published API for bulk submission of comments. Why is anyone surprised that someone took the phone book and posted a bunch of bogus comments from everyone from Aaron Aaronson to Zebediah Zywiec? https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/public-api-docs.html [fcc.gov]

  • I get 149 results for my name. I think a tool with a crawler needs to be created, so that only results with both my name and, say, my zip code are returned. I'm not going to manually click through 149 results to see if any use my address.

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