Hollywood Celebrities Point Out Irregular Net Neutrality Comments
FCC head Ajit Pai recently denied allegations that his federal agency had been at all under the influence of Russian agents. Mark Ruffalo and Alyssa Milano accused Chairman Pai of being connected to automatic IP addresses in the Russian Federation. These addresses were allegedly used to influence the FCC comment system.
The two Hollywood celebrities referenced the fact that the FCC received over 440,000 individual comments about net neutrality from email addresses registered to users in the Russian Federation. They claim that these comments are being used to influence the debate on net neutrality.
Computer scientists have found that several million emails received by the comment system were sent from mysterious sources. Another 444,938 were sent from Russian accounts. Researchers aren't sure if they were authentic messages or sent by automatic scripts, but they were technically valid comments about the net neutrality debate.
These seem to be the messages that Milano and Ruffalo have been talking about on social media, but the messages in question actually seem to be in favor of the current net neutrality regulations. Brian Hart, a public relations officer from the FCC, claimed that each message has to be treated individually regardless of the source. The FCC claims to not remove or alter any message that they receive during the comment phase.
The FCC's PR office went on to say suspicious messages have mostly come from those supporting regulations. With such a large volume of comments and an extremely heated debate over net neutrality protocols, it can be rather difficult to separate genuine messages from those that are fabricated by dubious parties.
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