A "shadowy" group inundated the FCC with letters opposing net neutrality during the commission's second-round commenting period in September, accounting for more than half of the anti-net neutrality comments overall, the Sunlight Foundation reports.
Eyebrows were raised when 60 percent of the second-round comments opposed strident regulation of the Internet after first-round commenting had been so overwhelmingly supportive.
Plying natural language processing technology to 1.6 million anti-net neutrality letters received by the Federal Communications Commission, the nonprofit tied most of the missives to a group called American Commitment, which the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation says is backed by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch.
"In marked contrast to the first round, anti-net neutrality commenters mobilized in force for this round, and comprised the majority of overall comments submitted, at 60 percent," the Sunlight Foundation wrote. "We attribute this shift almost entirely to the form-letter initiatives of a single organization, American Commitment, who are single-handedly responsible for 56.5 percent of the comments in this round."
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