Technology

‘Shadowy’ Anti-Net Neutrality Group Flooded FCC with Comments

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(Ars Technica) – “A shadowy organization with ties to the Koch Brothers” spearheaded an anti-net neutrality form letter writing campaign that tipped the scales against net neutrality proponents, according to an analysis released today by the Sunlight Foundation.

The first round of comments collected by the Federal Communications Commission were overwhelmingly in support of net neutrality rules. But a second round of “reply comments” that ended September 10 went the other way, with 60 percent opposing net neutrality, according to the Sunlight Foundation. The group describes itself as a nonpartisan nonprofit that seeks to expand access to government records.

The Sunlight Foundation used natural language processing techniques to analyze 1.6 million reply comments.

“In marked contrast to the first round, anti-net neutrality commenters mobilized in force for this round, and comprised the majority of overall comments submitted, at 60 percent,” the Sunlight Foundation wrote. “We attribute this shift almost entirely to the form-letter initiatives of a single organization, American Commitment, who are single-handedly responsible for 56.5 percent of the comments in this round.”

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