The New York Times Sues FCC Over Refusal to Respond to FOIA Requests

The New York Times has filed a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over the FCC’s ongoing refusal to adequately respond to FOIA requests. When the FCC’s website was soliciting public comments over the controversial net neutrality policies last year, it received an alarmingly high number of comments from ostensibly fake accounts. The New York Times alleges that it has requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) the traffic details for that notice-and-comment period and that the FCC has failed to respond to multiple requests. In its complaint, the New York Times claims that the release of the “records . . . will shed light on the extent to which Russian nationals and agents of the Russian government have interfered with the agency notice-and-comment process about a topic of extensive public interest: the government’s decision to abandon ‘net neutrality.'”

To date, most people have expressed the belief that broadband providers or affiliates were responsible for the large outpouring of bogus comments FCC’s website, so the suggestion that Russia may have been behind it is a relatively novel one.

Additional Reading

New York Times Sues FCC With Eye On Bogus Russian Net Neutrality Comments, TechDirt, September 24, 2018

Complaint in New York Times Co. v. FCC via Justia Dockets

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