Agency refuses to release hundreds of pages of documents related to alleged incident. Congress must demand answers.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) admitted last night that it has no "documented analysis" to back up its claim that a DDoS attack took down the agency’s public comment website immediately following a viral John Oliver segment about net neutrality in May.
The news comes in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Gizmodo – but the FCC refused to release more than 200 pages of additional documents related to the alleged incident. Fight for the Future, a nonpartisan digital rights organization that played a lead role in the massive net neutrality day of action on July 12, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to campaign director Evan Greer (pronouns: she/her):
At this point even supporters of Ajit Pai’s plan to gut online free speech protections have to be wondering: what is the FCC hiding?
This federal agency has a responsibility to maintain a functioning website for the public to comment on proceedings that have a profound impact on our economy, our democracy, and the future of the Internet.
It’s clear that the FCC has failed to perform this basic duty, and now they are refusing to release hundreds of pages of documents that could help shed light on what really happened here, and who, if anyone, has been attempting to interfere with the public comment process.
The public deserves to know whether former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai is protecting the person or organization behind these alleged DDoS attacks and the flood of fake comments using stolen identities that have tainted the FCC’s docket.
Net neutrality protections protect Internet users from extra fees, censorship, and throttling. Members of Congress who oversee the FCC must demand that the agency provide adequate answers to these serious questions surrounding their comment process before they make any decision about net neutrality rules that affect hundreds of millions of Internet users."
Fight for the Future is one of the leading grassroots organizations fighting for net neutrality and Internet freedom. The group recently announced plans to crowdfund billboards to expose members of Congress who support the FCC’s plan to dismantle net neutrality protections, and launched a scorecard to make it easy for voters to learn where their lawmakers stand on the issue. The group also played a lead role in the massive July 12 day of action that drove millions of comments, emails, and phone calls to decision makers in support of the Title II rules.