FCC Chairman Ajit Pai recently confirmed that the FCC knew that its public comment system was broken during the long and controversial run up to the passing of the agency's Title II net neutrality repeal, and now as a result of the American public not getting their say, Fight For The Future is calling for the repeal to be reversed. The comment system had no bot protection whatsoever, and a database containing millions of stolen names and addresses was used to create a massive number of fake comments, almost all in favor of dismantling Title II rules. The FCC has yet to officially respond to Fight For The Future's statement.
The crux of the argument, according to Fight For The Future Deputy Director Evan Greer, is that the FCC must, by law, keep an open comment system for the public and keep it reasonably operational, including being free from issues that would undermine its effectiveness. During the proceedings, Pai openly said that the many comments opposing the repeal were outweighed by a small number of well-researched, well-thought out comments from big names that argued, alongside the FCC, that getting rid of the Obama-era legislation would open up innovation for internet service providers and incentivize investment. If Fight For The Future has its way, Congress could possibly reverse the repeal, pending a redo with a fully functional and well-maintained space for public comment.
Fight For The Future's calls would ideally be answered through the Congressional Review Act, the same act that slowed down the repeal on its way through the government and almost stopped it in its tracks at one point. According to Pai, one of the ways his agency is planning to fix the comment system going forward is by putting a captcha system in place to keep bots from spamming the section with fraudulent comments. While this alone would not be quite enough to stop all of the fraudulent comments drowning out the many very real concerned voices, it would likely defeat enough of the bots to give the American people a fighting chance at showing that the repeal of the Title II rules is a massively unpopular vote, which of course goes against democracy at the most basic, principled level and would thus likely spurn some sort of intervention from other branches of government if the FCC attempted to proceed a second time.