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New York attorney general asks people to report fake net neutrality comments

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman wants New York state residents to report fake net neutrality-related comments sent under their names. Schneiderman’s office has put up a page where New Yorkers can search the FCC’s comment database, then report any fake submissions to help with an investigation that Schneiderman announced last week.

The page asks users to post links to fake comments and answer a few accompanying questions, including whether the content matched their actual view of net neutrality. Schneiderman has previously said that “tens of thousands” of New Yorkers may have had their names attached to fake submissions, which were submitted in vast numbers during an FCC comment period earlier this year. He argues that this constitutes a form of identity theft, as well as a “potential corruption of the federal policy-making process,” since it’s an inaccurate representation of public opinion.

While people from across the country have reported having their identities used in fake comments, only New Yorkers are supposed to use this particular submission system. But Schneiderman’s recent announcement called new attention to the entire incident, especially as he’s accused the FCC of refusing to cooperate with his investigation. There’s no deadline for submissions, but agency press secretary Amy Spitalnick tells The Verge that “the sooner folks can check and tell us if their info was used without their consent, the better.”