The FCC’s attempt to maintain that its comments page crashed last May as a result of a co-ordinated DDoS attack was actually built on falsehoods, it has admitted.
The regulator was forced to make the admission ahead of an inspector general report into the case due to be released shortly.
The comments section crashed after millions took to the site to complain about its controversial decision to overturn net neutrality rules brought in under the stewardship of Trump appointee and new chairman Ajit Pai.
It’s thought a late-night piece by comedian John Oliver, in which he encouraged individuals to complain to the FCC about the decision, also swelled numbers.
However, new statements suggest the regulator has been lying.
Pai sought to play the partisan card by blaming an Obama appointee for the mess whilst trying to abnegate himself from all responsibility.
“With respect to the report’s findings, I am deeply disappointed that the FCC’s former chief information officer (CIO), who was hired by the prior administration and is no longer with the Commission, provided inaccurate information about this incident to me, my office, Congress, and the American people,” he said.
“I’m also disappointed that some working under the former CIO apparently either disagreed with the information that he was presenting or had questions about it, yet didn’t feel comfortable communicating their concerns to me or my office.”
Democrat FCC member, Jessica Rosenworcel, had a different take, focusing on the issue of net neutrality.
“The inspector general Report tells us what we knew all along: the FCC’s claim that it was the victim of a DDoS attack during the net neutrality proceeding is bogus,” she said in a statement.
“What happened instead is obvious—millions of Americans overwhelmed our online system because they wanted to tell us how important internet openness is to them and how distressed they were to see the FCC roll back their rights. It’s unfortunate that this agency’s energy and resources needed to be spent debunking this implausible claim.”
Although the Senate recently voted to overturn Pai’s net neutrality repeal it’s still likely to be forced through by the Republican-dominated lower House. Detractors have argued that the repeal will lead to throttling, blocking and paid prioritization , creating an uneven playing field dominated by large ISPs and service providers.