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Name of deceased Albany woman used for fake FCC Net Neutrality post

December 16, 2017 11:20 PM

ALBANY - “The unprecedented regulatory power the Obama Administration imposed on the internet is smothering innovation.”

The comment was posted under the name Margaret Basco with an Albany, NY address on the Federal Communications Commission's website.

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“Mom was not a very politically motivated person at all,” said Margaret’s 27-year-old son, Christopher Basco.

That’s one reason Christopher said his mother did not write the comment.  

More importantly, Margaret was deceased when the comment was posted on Jul 11th.

“That would be exactly 31 days from when mom died, Christopher Basco said. “She died June 9th.”

That was also around the time the FCC called for public feedback on its website about the Obama-era regulation known as Net Neutrality, which regulated equal internet access.

Chris found the fake post in November while searching his mother's name in a fake comments portal on the New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s webite.

Schneiderman’s office is investigating millions of similar fake Net Neutrality comments on the FCC’s website.

“As many as 8 million fake comments may have been submitted to the FCC. These comments like those submitted by Homer Simpson and computer generated fake identities are clearly false,” Schneiderman said during a December 4th press conference. 

Many fake comments supported the repeal of Net Neutrality, which the FCC voted to do this week. 

“Everybody in the internet economy is better off with a market based approach,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai told NBC News Thursday. 

Critics fear the move will mean limited internet access and higher prices.

“They can’t just go to someone else for better service if they don't like the service they're getting now,” said CNET Tech Expert, Dan Ackerman. 

“The vote was bought and paid for long before it even came time,” Christopher said. 

Even more hurtful for Christopher, is that his deceased mother's identity was used to support it.

“A lot of people who are deceased still talking and having opinions about things they may or may not have supported when they were alive,” Basco said. 

Basco hasn't confirmed how his mother’s personal information was obtained for the comment. 

However, CNN is reporting that her personal information was obtained through a data breach and later used for the fake comment. 

Visit wnyt.com and click on links to visit the attorney general's website to determine if your identity or someone else’s has also been stolen. 

Credits

Nia Hamm

Copyright 2017 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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