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FCC head Ajit Pai grilled about false DDoS attack

Heather Parry

By Heather Parry

16 August 2018

This week, Democratic members of Congress on the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to FCC head Ajit Pai, demanding to know why the FCC lied to members of Congress several times about DDoS attacks that never occurred.

Under Pai, the FCC claimed for more than a year that in May 2017, a cyber attack broke the FCC’s website, stopping members of the public from submitting public comments in support of Net Neutrality.

In reality, the FCC’s system crashed because it was overwhelmed by those same public comments on Net Neutrality, after comedian John Oliver encouraged viewers of Last Week Tonight to let the FCC know their thoughts on the proposed rollback of Net Neutrality guidelines.

An Inspector General (IG) report into the situation found that the FCC lied about this in letters to Congress on multiple occasions.

In a letter to the FCC, the Democrats write:

We are deeply disturbed by the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Inspector General’s Report of Investigation into the alleged distributed denial-of-service attacks.

Given the significant media, public, and Congressional attention this alleged cyberattack received for over a year, it is hard to believe that the release of the IO’s Report was the first time that you and your staff realized that no cyberattack occurred.

To Pai directly, the letter says:

Such ignorance would signify a dereliction of your duty as the head of the FCC, particularly due to the severity of the allegations and the blatant lack of evidence. Therefore, we want to know when you and your staff first learned that the information the Commission shared about the alleged cyberattack was false

Fight for the Future are using this opportunity to push Congress to save Net Neutrality, saying that Congress should “act immediately to overrule Ajit Pai’s corrupt gutting of net neutrality”.

If you wish to join the fight, you can do so here.

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