Published June 6, 2018 / Updated August 7, 2020
The FCC Lied About Cyber-Attack During Net Neutrality Fight
These are not the actions of honest government
The FCC has had two public comment periods of note on Net Neutrality. Both of them drew strong public support for the rule, so much so that the flood of emails and comments crashed the FCC’s website. Following the second crash, the FCC, under the direction of Ajit Pai, issued a statement which pinned the crash on “multiple distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDos).”
Suspicious of the timing of the supposed DDos attack and the FCC’s inability to provide evidence of it, Gizmodo went after internal FCC emails with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The request turned up evidence that not only was the FCC unable to substantiate a cyber-attack during the Net Neutrality debate of 2017, but that the Pai-era FCC attempted to re-write history by suggesting a cover-up of a 2014 DDos during the previous comment period.
If there was no cyber-attack then the FCC’s inability to keep their servers up during the public comment period speaks either to a deliberate attempt to mute the voices of pro-Net Neutrality Americans or the staggering unpopularity of a Net Neutrality repeal.
“The security team was in agreement that this event was not an attack… The security team produced no report suggesting it was an attack. The security team could not identify any records or evidence to indicate this type of attack occurred as described”
These are not the actions of a government being forthright with its citizens. While Ajit Pai may well believe that his particular views on the regulatory authority of the FCC are correct and those of the Obama era are wrong, attempting to gaslight the American people goes well beyond a simple policy disagreement. It suggests that not only did the FCC know that it was acting against the wishes of the American people but that it also knew that doing so was wrong.
But it did so anyway.
Tell Congress What You Think
The Congressional Review Act challenge to the FCC’s decision is still before the House of Representatives. Between that and the elections coming up in November, you have several opportunities to demand that your Representative, Senators, and Governor demand accountability from the FCC. You can write to some or all of the above or speak out on this or any other issue by texting RESIST to 50409. If SMS isn’t your style, you can contact your government by talking to Resistbot on Facebook Messenger, Telegram, or Twitter.