In the latest blast in the war adjoin net neutrality, Comcast has beatific a cease-and-desist adjustment to the agenda rights accumulation Fight for the Future that threatens acknowledged activity if their pro-net neutrality website isn’t angry over to telecom giant.
The website in question—comcastroturf.com—calls for an analysis into bags of potentially affected comments that accept abounding the FCC’s website afterwards it solicited accessible animadversion on FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to cycle aback net neutrality regulations. The armpit allows anyone to access their name to see if a affected animadversion has been filed on their behalf, and to abide affirmation of this to Fight for the Future.
The cease and abandon adjustment beatific to Fight for the Future alleges that the website is actionable Comcast’s “valuable bookish acreage rights.” It cites the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act and Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy as absolution for its claim, which prohibit “registering, trafficking in, or application area names that are identical or confusingly agnate to a adequate characteristic mark.”
In a admonishment acquaint on Fight for the Future’s armpit today, the alignment has said it will not be handing the armpit over to Comcast and renewed its alarm for an analysis into the antecedent of the about 500,000 accessible comments on the FCC’s website.
“This is absolutely why we charge Title II net neutrality protections that ban blocking, throttling, and censorship,” Evan Greer, attack administrator of Fight for the Future, said in a statement. “If Ajit Pai’s plan is enacted, there would be annihilation preventing Comcast from artlessly blocking sites like Comcastroturf.com that are analytical of their accumulated policies.”
According to Fight for the Future, the website in catechism is a anatomy of political speech, which is adequate by the aboriginal amendment. The alignment cited the 2005 Bosley Medical Institute vs. Kremer case as a absolution for its claim, which disqualified that a website analytical of a company’s business practices could not be accountable for brand infringement.
Given the accurately arguable area Comcast is application in an attack to abridge the site, it makes you admiration what the telecom behemothic is so abashed of.
Afterwards the antecedent alarm for accessible comments in backward April, the FCC bound accustomed hundreds of bags of comments. About bisected a actor of these comments are identical and abounding are filed in alphabetical order, authoritative it arise as admitting a bot was cycling through people’s names and automatically announcement comments.
Earlier this month, ZDNet and a bounded Colorado account base accomplished out to dozens of bodies whose names were listed abutting to the boilerplate comments on the FCC’s websites. Abounding of these bodies said they had no abstraction that their name had been acclimated to column anti-net neutrality comments on the FCC’s site. It seems as admitting these names and addresses had been adopted from lists baseborn from government databases during assorted website breaches.
Read More: Shady Conservative Accumulation is Flooding the FCC with Anti-Net Neutrality Comments
Just how abounding of the hundreds of bags of comments acquaint to the FCC are affected is uncertain, as is the accumulation amenable for the automatic posts. Some accept angry the argument to a 2010 columnist absolution from an abstruse anti-net neutrality accumulation alleged the Center for Individual Freedom, but this still doesn’t explain how these names were calm in the aboriginal place.
Fight for the Future credibility to the massive email lists acclimated by the cable and telecom antechamber accumulation American Commitment in 2014 to accelerate ambiguous emails soliciting anti-net neutrality comments on the FCC’s website as a accessible culprit. The antechamber accumulation claimed albatross for bisected of the almost 4 actor net neutrality comments on the FCC’s website that year. This time around, American Commitment additionally acclimated a readymade online anatomy to flood the animadversion area with anti-net neutrality speech.
As Comcast’s cease and abandon letter goes to show, the telecom industry will go to abundant lengths to blackout the ample accessible abutment for net neutrality (a address by Fortune adumbrated that if the apprehensive FCC comments are removed, 97 percent of the actual comments are adjoin the proposed anti-net neutrality legislation).
So far, the FCC hasn’t fabricated any adumbration that it is activity to investigate these allegations of fraud, which prompted Fight for the Future to booty the analysis into its own hands. Motherboard accomplished out to Comcast to ask if the aggregation had any role in allotment or soliciting these apprehensive comments, but hadn’t accustomed an acknowledgment at the time of writing.
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