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FCC lied about DDoS attack during net neutrality comment process

2018-06-06 10:52 by
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The Federal Communications Commission misled news organizations last year with claims about a cyberattack to explain away technical troubles with its comment system, according to a new report by Gizmodo based on its review of internal emails.

Last year, the Federal Communications Commission voted to overturn net neutrality rules, a move that millions of people protested in comments sent to the FCC. With millions of comments pouring in, the agency announced a few weeks later that its Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) had been a target of a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

This attack was later on used to ignore the entire public comment process. Since then the public, reporters, and the lawmakers have demanded the FCC and its chairman, Ajit Pai, to release evidence if the attack did indeed occur.

The FCC has refused to provide hard evidence of the alleged DDOS attack. But new documents released under the Freedom of Information Act strongly suggest that FCC IT and public affairs officials fed journalists false information to bolster its DDOS story. The documents show FCC staffers telling journalists that its DDOS attack is nothing new–that a similar DDOS attack had struck the comment server in 2014. That story is contradicted by current and former FCC officials, and the agency has offered no proof that a 2014 attack occurred.

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