Proponents of open and cheap internet who are fighting the rollback of net neutrality protections by the Trump Administration recently said that one of the best internet providers in the US, Comcast® is threatening to take legal action claiming that the website named Comcastroturf is infringing their trademark.
The website Comcastroturf is offering a tool for public to find if their names and details are among those stolen by the different anti net neutrality bots. The stolen details were used to share comments in support of the plan of FCC to revert Title II protections, as per which, their internet services are classified as public utility.
The cease and desist order which was issued previous week claimed that the domain name Comcastroturf is “confusingly similar to the [Comcast trademark] because it sounds the same, looks the same, and is spelled similarly to Comcast.” The letter, which was signed by a cyber threat analyst at LookingGlass Cyber Security Center, asked the owner of the domain, Fight for the Future, to “take all steps necessary to see that the domain name is assigned to Comcast.” The letter further said that if the order is not immediately complied with, then the cable giant will “pursue its claims for damages.”
“This is exactly why we need Title II net neutrality protections that ban blocking, throttling, and censorship,” said Evan Greer, who is the campaign director of Fight for the Future. He said that if the FCC Chairman’s plan “is enacted, there would be nothing preventing Comcast from simply blocking sites like Comcastroturf.com that are critical of their corporate policies.”
“It also makes you wonder what Comcast is so afraid of? Are their lobbying dollars funding the astroturfing effort flooding the FCC with fake comments that we are encouraging Internet users to investigate?” Greer asked. The fake comment scandals, together with the failure of FCC to process the comments that are in favor of net neutrality, lead to much criticism and raised concerns on the influence of the telecom behemoths on FCC and Chairman Ajit Pai.
Lee Fang and Nick Surgey of The Intercept recently reported that an internal email message from the GOP leadership instructs the House Republicans on the best ways to defend the decision of FCC. They claimed that the email contained a “nifty toolkit,” as per the word of the sender, which the reporters claim to have come “directly from the cable industry.”
“The metadata of the document shows it was created by Kerry Landon, the assistant director of industry grassroots at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, a trade group that lobbies on behalf of Comcast, Cox Communications, Charter, and other cable industry companies,” Fang and Surgey reported. “The document was shared with House Republican leaders via ‘Broadband for America,’ a nonprofit largely funded by the NCTA.”