U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley said on Monday that someone used his identity to submit fake comments against net neutrality to the Federal Communications Commission.
“Turns out someone impersonated me during the … comment period – further proof of forged comments in this process,” Merkley wrote in a tweet. “We need to get to the bottom of this and demand justice for those who sought to be heard.”
The comments falsely attributed to Merkley stated the FFC should repeal the net neutrality rules, which prohibited Internet service providers from slowing connection speeds, charging more for faster content delivery and blocking websites. In reality, Merkley has been an outspoken supporter of net neutrality.
The FCC voted last week to repeal the Obama-era rules guaranteeing equal Internet access. Service providers and supporters of the repeal, including FCC Chairman Agit Pai, say that doing away with the requirements will lead companies to increase investment and innovation.
Merkley’s comments highlighted the potential extent of impersonation that went on during the FCC’s public comment process. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has said as many as 2 million comments submitted during the FCC’s process might be fake.
Now, Schneiderman and his colleagues in more than a dozen states – including Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum – are planning to sue the FCC over the net neutrality repeal.