Search Engine Land: Federal Election Commission proposal toughens political ads disclosure rules. “The nature of political advertising is manipulation and deception. This was taken to extremes in 2016 as fake news and ads from outside actors and extremist groups sought to manipulate public opinion and influence the presidential election. Now, with Russia expected to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) is considering additional rules and disclosure requirements for online political ads.” We can only hope.
The Register: Pressure mounts on FCC to cough up answers over fake net neutrality comments. “Analysis US lawmakers have weighed in on the FCC’s controversial vote to scrap America’s net neutrality rules, demanding information on the millions of fake comments submitted to the watchdog’s public consultation on the decision – and asking pointed questions about how the federal regulator handled them.”
Ars Technica: Net neutrality is bad? 1 million PornHub employees can’t be wrong. Oh, wait.. “If Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai actually allowed the weight of public comments on the FCC’s proposed changes to network neutrality regulations to sway (or confirm) his position, he seems to have given more credence to the ‘opinions’ of spam-generating software “bots” than actual citizens, researchers have found. At the Shmoocon information security conference on Saturday, Leah Figueroa, lead data engineer at the data analytics software company Gravwell, presented a detailed analysis of the public comments submitted to the FCC regarding network neutrality. Applying filters to the over 22 million comments submitted to the FCC, Figueroa and her team attempted to identify which comments were submitted by real US citizens—and which were generated by bulk-uploading bots”
Recode: The leading lobbying group for Amazon, Facebook, Google and other tech giants is joining the legal battle to restore net neutrality. “A leading lobbying group for Amazon, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Twitter and other tech giants said Friday that it would be joining the coming legal crusade to restore the U.S. government’s net neutrality rules. The Washington, D.C.-based Internet Association specifically plans to join a lawsuit as an intervening party, aiding the challenge to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s vote in December to repeal regulations that required internet providers like AT&T and Comcast* to treat all web traffic equally, its leader confirmed to Recode.”
Techdirt: New York State Eyes Its Own Net Neutrality Law. ” In ISP lobbying land, stopping states from writing protectionist law is an assault on ‘states rights,’ but when states actually try to help consumers you’ll note the concern for states rights magically disappears. Regardless, New York State, California and Washington have all indicated that they will attempt to test the FCC’s state preemption authority on this front in the new year by crafting their own net neutrality legislation. You’ll recall that the FCC already had its wrist slapped by the courts for over-reach when it tried to preempt states from passing anti-community broadband laws, quite literally written by large ISPs, intended to hamstring creative solutions (including public/private partnerships) for the telecom industry’s broadband competition logjam.”
Salon: How to save the internet . “In late October, Ajit Pai, Chair of the Federal Communications Commission, proudly announced, ‘We’ve been energetic in advancing the public interest…over the past nine months, the Commission has voted on 63 items at our monthly meetings, compared to 103 in the preceding three years.’ It now surpasses 70. This certainly has been a busy year for the FCC. But Pai is dead wrong that this flurry of activity has been done to advance the public interest. Indeed, as one might expect from a man who once worked for telecom giant Verizon, Pai has directed an unprecedented abdication by the FCC of its responsibility to protect the public welfare.”
Ars Technica: 2 million people—and some dead ones—were impersonated in net neutrality comments. “An analysis of public comments on the FCC’s plan to repeal net neutrality rules found that 2 million of them were filed using stolen identities. That’s according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.”