A fine of over 80 million yen will be paid by a company that forged public comments to prevent the abolition of ``net neutrality'' rules

New York State Attorney General Letitia James said, ``Millions of fake public comments created to influence

the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repeal process for network neutrality rules in 2017. ”, ordered a fine payment of $ 615,000 (about 83.5 million yen) to three companies, LCX, Lead ID, and Ifficient.

Attorney General James Secures $615,000 from Companies that Supplied Fake Comments to Influence FCC's Repeal of Net Neutrality Rules

Network neutrality is a rule that prohibits Internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking access or reducing communication speeds in order to prioritize specific content on the Internet. If this rule is abolished, it is possible to take preferential measures such as allowing the use of ``high-speed lanes'' that can deliver content at high speed to companies that have paid a premium, or significantly delaying the delivery speed of content for specific companies. As a result, some voices were raised against the abolition.

What is the problem of America's `` open Internet '' that shakes greatly due to the removal of `` net neutrality '' regulation? -GIGAZINE

LCX, Lead ID, and Ifficient used the personal information of millions of consumers without their consent and falsified public comments to oppose the move to abolish this network neutrality rule. An investigation by the Attorney General's Office revealed that The three companies have agreed to pay a total penalty of $615,000.

Attorney General James said, 'While public comment is an opportunity for Americans to voice their opinions on key government policies, corporations have misused this for selfish purposes. No one can deny their identity.' We must not be manipulated by corporations to misrepresent their private agendas, and with this agreement, we also hold three companies accountable for impersonating Americans without their knowledge or consent. We will always fight to ensure that consumer identities are protected and fraudulent behavior by businesses is deterred.'

LCX, Lead ID, and Ifficient are lead generators that encourage consumers to participate in campaigns by using prizes such as advertisements and gift cards and sweepstakes entries to forge public comments. ) was affiliated with Nearly all lead generators hired to enroll consumers in campaigns fake comments from consumers. As a result, more than 8.5 million public comments were forged and submitted to the FCC. Of the submitted forged public comments, more than 500,000 have also been submitted to Congress.

LCX and Lead ID, two companies that each worked to register consumers for the campaign, each independently forged 1.5 million public comments. Ifficient acted as a middleman, getting consumers to sign up for campaigns while involving other lead generation companies. Ifficient submits over 840,000 fake public comments received from lead generators it hires to its clients.

In addition, an investigation by the Attorney General's Office found that corporate sabotage to block the repeal of net neutrality regulations had an impact on other government efforts. Some of the lead generation companies participating in the broadband industry's network neutrality comment campaign were also found to be working on other unrelated campaigns to influence regulators and public officials. . Lead generation companies have also engaged in fraudulent activity in almost every advocacy campaign, the attorney general's office said. In addition, more than 1 million public comments on other rulemaking processes were forged, and over 3.5 million digital signatures for letters to Congress, state legislators, and government officials and petitions were forged. It is clear that

LCX and Lead ID have been implicated in many of the above forged public comments, letters and petition signatures. Through four advocacy campaigns in 2017-2018, LCX forged approximately 900,000 public comments submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Marine Energy Management. Between 2017 and 2019, Lead ID fabricated over 500,000 public comments in advocacy campaigns.

According to the agreement announced this time, LCX, Lead ID, and Ifficient and their management are obligated to pay penalty and return illegal profits (degorgiment). LCX agreed to pay New York $400,000 (about 54 million yen) and San Diego District Attorney's Office $100,000 (about 14 million yen) in penalties and disgorgement. Lead ID has agreed to pay New York $30,000 (about 4 million yen) in penalties and degorgement. Ifficient agreed to pay New York $63,750 (about 8.7 million yen) and Colorado $21,250 (about 2.9 million yen) in penalties and degorgement.

in Note, Posted by logu_ii