Congress must pass CRA to reverse illegitimate repeal
Fight for the Future has repeatedly debunked the FCC’s dubious claims that their public comment site was hit with two separate DDoS attacks that allegedly occurred at the exact same time that large numbers of pro net neutrality comments were flooding the system following John Oliver’s viral TV segments on the issue. Yesterday, the agency finally admitted that those DDoS attacks were completely fabricated. Today, the internal Investigator General’s report provides even more detail, showing that FCC leadership, including Ajit Pai, knew that the DDoS attack was bogus, and that the FBI had changed their focus from looking into an alleged cyber attack to investigating false statements made to Congress by the FCC.
Fight for the Future issued the following statement, which can be attributed to deputy director Evan Greer (pronouns: she/her):
Ajit Pai should resign. These new revelations from the FCC’s internal investigation are a smoking gun. They clearly show that the FCC chairman knew months ago that there had never been a cyber attack on the FCC’s comment system, but did nothing, allowing the false narrative to spread in a cynical attempt to downplay the overwhelming opposition to his attack on net neutrality.
Fight for the Future provided the FCC with proof debunking this invented cyber attack more than a year ago, including screenshots of our own logs and other technical information. Thousands of people signed petitions calling on the FCC to provide proof of the attack. The agency ignored us, and decided instead to lie to Congress and the public. They never reported the alleged "cyber attack" to US CERT, the proper authorities,, because they knew one had not occurred. They mischaracterized to Congress conversations that did eventually occur with the FBI.
Under Ajit Pai’s leadership, the FCC sabotaged its own public comment process. From ignoring millions of fraudulent comments using stolen names and addresses to outright lies about DDoS attacks that never happened, the agency recklessly abdicated its responsibility to maintain a functional way for the public to be heard. Pai attempts to blame his staff, but this happened on his watch, and he repeatedly obstructed attempts by lawmakers and the press to get answers.
The repeal of net neutrality was not only unpopular, it was illegitimate. We now know the truth: a DDoS attack didn’t take down the FCC’s website. Millions of people speaking out against Ajit Pai’s repeal of net neutrality did. Congress must act now to pass the CRA resolution to reverse this decision and restore basic protections for Internet freedom.