Today, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to Ajit Pai demanding answers about the phony "cyber attack" the FCC repeatedly used to downplay the overwhelming opposition to the agency’s repeal of net neutrality.
Fight for the Future, the digital rights group that first challenged the FCC’s dubious claims of a DDoS attack, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to Deputy Director Evan Greer:
"Ajit Pai is an embarrassment. We knew he was lying about his reasons for killing net neutrality, but now we know his agency also lied to Congress, journalists, and the public about something as serious as a cyber attack. He may well be the Republican party’s biggest liability in the midterm elections. Lawmakers are rightly demanding answers. But they should also act immediately to overrule Ajit Pai’s corrupt gutting of net neutrality, by signing the discharge petition and passing the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to reverse the 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. Last week, the agency finally admitted that those DDoS attacks were completely fabricated. 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 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.
Ajit Pai is scheduled to appear before a Senate committee to answer questions about the incident this Thursday.