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FCC ignored 22 million public comments

by on23 November 2017

Democracy is something for other countries

The FCC ignored more than 22 million comments chiming in on the net neutrality debate and only listened to the views of big corporations.

It seems that the views of the great unwashed were not considered significant enough. During a chat with hacks, a senior FCC official said that 7.5 million of those comments were the same letter, which was submitted using 45,000 fake email addresses.

But even ignoring the potential spam, the commission said it didn't care about the public's opinion on net neutrality unless it was phrased in legal terms.

The vast majority of the 22 million comments were form letters organised by groups opposed to the US telcos making them pay twice for Internet access.

Unless those letters introduced new facts into the record or made serious legal arguments, they didn't have much bearing on the decision.

The commission said it did not care about comments that only stating an opinion. The FCC has been clear all year that it is focused on "quality" over "quantity" when it comes to comments on net neutrality.

Hacks reporting the comments appear a little shocked. “It l feels brazen hearing the commission staff repeatedly discount Americans' preference for consumer protections, merely because they are not phrased in legal terms”, wrote one.

It used to be that democracy was about swaying the will of the people to your perspective, not about doing what corporations tell you and ignoring the will of the people.

Last modified on 23 November 2017
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