Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai acknowledged this week what many Americans suspected after the FCC’s controversial vote to end net neutrality last year: it is a “fact” that Russians interfered in the public commenting process.
The admittance was made in response to a lawsuit filed by theNew York Times, who requested access to records surrounding the public comments that they argued would “shed light to the extent to which Russian nationals and agents of the Russian government have interfered with the agency notice-and-comment process about a topic of extensive public interest.”
The public comments left ahead of the FCC’s net neutrality vote have been at the center of much scrutiny—with millions of fraudulent comments (including the names of dead people and current members of Congress) being used.
Of the comments submitted by real people, nearly 100 percent were in favor of keeping the net neutrality rules, a recent study showed.
While Pai acknowledged as “fact” that comments were submitted under Russian email addresses, he insisted that many of those comments were in support of retaining net neutrality rules.
The “fact” comment—as Gizmodo points out—is different than what was said in a court filing related to the lawsuit where the FCC claims it is not convinced of Russian interference.