Spam used to influence public policy consultation

Spam bots and scripts were used for influencing the U.S. FCC (Federal Communications Commission) consultations on a revision of the net neutrality rules, reported The Verge. Comments seem to be submitted in name of different real people, including details on their physical address. However, when asked, some of these people denied that they had commented in the consultation process. In an analysis undertaken by Jeffrey Fossett it was demonstrated that a spam bot was responsible for generating the vast majority of these people’s comments. The fake comments contained mainly anti-net neutrality messages. A significant share of the comments were sent from addresses and people whose personal details were identified in various spam databases that had leaked in the past.