Critiques of 2017 FCC Comment Process Also Apply to 2014
[Analysis] Criticisms of the 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom process apply also to the 2014 Open Internet process. A key difference between the comment process in 2017 compared to 2014 is that form letters became more sophisticated and more difficult to identify. In the future, bad actors are likely to continue improving their ability to make form letters appear unique, hide their origins, or simply make the comment process unmanageable. Although the APA mandates that federal agencies rely on substantive comments with scientific data, facts, and expert analysis of proposed rules and not treat comments as “votes,” the integrity of the comment process matters.Federal agencies must learn how to handle these problems in order to maintain a meaningful comment process. Doing so will require agencies to more carefully consider systems to verify or authenticate filings when they are submitted, and devote increasing resources to computing, data forensics, textual analysis, time, and talent to evaluate the submissions.
Critiques of 2017 FCC Comment Process Also Apply to 2014.