Kenai man's name found among millions of fake anti-Net Neutrality comments on FCC database

Dec 29, 2017

When someone shares the name of a celebrity, it’s easy to stand out in the crowd. Or on a list. Such as the FCC database of comments about the once-proposed, and now approved, repeal of Net Neutrality.

That's how KDLL found the name of former Kenai City Councilman Ozzie Osborne on the FCC’s database so easily. However, like potentially millions of comments on the list, the comment attributed to Osborne did not come from him.

"Well that's just another identity theft thing," said Osborne.

The boilerplate comment attributed to Osborne showed up in thousands of others submitted to the FCC on the topic, saying Net Neutrality was stifling the free market. For the record, Kenai's Ozzie Osborne disagrees.

"Well I think we've had Net Neutrality before and the last few years they were trying to change all that, you know. And it should be open to everybody," Osborne said.

The FCC gathered 21.7 million comments for and against repealing the protections that ensure a free-flowing internet, but some of the pro-repeal comments have recently been called into question. In fact, according to a study by the PEW Research Center, up to 57 percent of comments could have been fake.

As a result, several states, though not Alaska, have sued the FCC to block the repeal of Net Neutrality protection.

In the mean time, Osborne says he's trying to stay safer online to help keep his personal data out of the hands of hackers who may try to use it for such purposes.

"I noticed on Facebook they always have these questions about, 'what year were you born,' or things like that," he said. "Different kinds of little questions which all seem to be pretty innocent, but if somebody collected that kind of information, you know, they take a little piece out of each question and pretty soon they know everything about you."

Here is a link to the FCC database for Net Neutrality, if you'd like to see if your name has been used to make comments without your permission.