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FCC Lied About Denial Of Service Attack To Downplay John Oliver Effect

The FCC did routinely try to mislead the public and the press with repeated claims of DDOS attacks that never actually happened.

Oh dear. I'm beginning to think that that not only are all FCC appointees liars and cheats who are in the pocket of the industries they allegedly oversee, they are also very bad at covering their own tracks. Via Techdirt:

You might remember that when HBO comedian John Oliver originally tackled net neutrality on his show in 2014, the FCC website crashed under the load of concerned consumers eager to support the creation of net neutrality rules. When Oliver revisited the topic last May to discuss Trump FCC boss Ajit Pai's myopic plan to kill those same rules, the FCC website crashed under the load a second time. That's not a particular shock; the FCC's website has long been seen as an outdated relic from the wayback times of Netscape, hit counters, and awful MIDI music.

But then something weird happened. In the midst of all the media attention Oliver was receiving for his segment, the FCC issued a statement (pdf) by former FCC Chief Information Officer David Bray, claiming that comprehensive FCC "analysis" indicated that it was a malicious DDoS attack, not angry net neutrality supporters, that brought the agency's website to its knees:

"Beginning on Sunday night at midnight, our analysis reveals that the FCC was subject to multiple distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDos). These were deliberate attempts by external actors to bombard the FCC’s comment system with a high amount of traffic to our commercial cloud host. These actors were not attempting to file comments themselves; rather they made it difficult for legitimate commenters to access and file with the FCC."

Security expert thought it was fishy and had nothing to do with a DDOS. Then it turned out the FCC never actually did an analysis and refused to provide any evidence to journalists or lawmakers that demanded data to proving the DDOS story.

Four years later, new internal FCC e-mails obtained via FOIA show that the FCC did indeed "routinely try to mislead the public and the press with repeated claims of DDOS attacks that never actually happened."

In other words, they went to extreme lengths to cover up the public opposition to killing net neutrality, something the industry told us we shouldn't worry about.


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