The Federal Government is now examining fake comments posted on the FCC website during the public comment period last year on the agency's plans to roll back net neutrality coverage. According to Buzzfeed News the FBI has launched an investigation to determine if any laws have been violated.
In May 2017, the FCC accepted public comment on its plans and received over 2.6 million comments fueled by television personalities such as John Oliver. The agency was flooded with tens of thousands of nearly identical comments in favor of repealing the safeguards (one study later found that clear comments overwhelmingly demanded that the rules should be maintained), and while those comments were linked to legitimate names and addresses Many of the alleged commentators said that they were not the ones who submitted them.
This is the first time a federal agency has investigated the case. Buzzfeed says the Department of Justice is working to determine whether these comments violated the law, using essentially stolen identities, and has issued subpoenas to a handful of comments-based organizations.
A year ago, the New York Procuratorate began its own investigations, and last October sent subpoenas to over a dozen telecommunications lobby groups. Buzzfeed also reports that the Attorney Generals of Massachusetts and Washington, DC, have supported the efforts of their New York counterpart and have also issued subpoenas.