Read the full article by Michael French at

WASHINGTON, D.C.—As the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission last year steamed toward a December vote at which the FCC ultimately repealed Obama-era net neutrality regulations—rules that shielded internet traffic from being blocked or slowed by big internet service providers—the Commission’s website was flooded by millions of comments, many supporting the repeal of the rules.

But as it turned out, about two million of those comments were fake, sent from accounts using stolen identities of actual Americans, including at least two United States senators.

The FCC has so far refused to produce any documentation that could show where the phony comments actually came from, but that is about to change. A federal judge on the Washington, D.C. District Court last week ordered the FCC, led by Donald Trump-appointed chair Ajit Pai, to release at least some of that data to an independent journalist, according to the tech news site TechDirt.

Freelance reporter Jason Prechtel filed a Freedom of Information request with the FCC in June of last year, requesting the data on the fake comments. When the FCC gave him the runaround, refusing to release any of the data, Prechtel sued.

Now, about 10 months after the journalist filed his lawsuit, federal judge Christopher Cooper ordered the FCC to turn over a list of email addresses that were used to submit the comments in bulk, according to Broadcasting & Cable.