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Uncovered emails reportedly show FCC made up DDoS claim and lied to reporters to cover...

By William Gayde · 36 replies
Jun 8, 2018
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  1. According to several emails obtained by Gizmodo this week, the FCC fabricated claims of a DDoS attack that supposedly took down their online comment system following a report by John Oliver on net neutrality. In a series of emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, FCC Chief Information Officer David Bray is seen pushing the DDoS claims to several members of the media in an attempt to cover up their internal technical issues.

    The emails also show that the FCC made similar false claims to the media back in 2014 following John Oliver's first piece on net neutrality. Their claim of a DDoS attack in 2017 was based partly on this 2014 claim as well.

    The FCC had a simple plan to make the public outrage towards their policies seem like a malicious attack. They reportedly made up claims of a DDoS attack after thousands of Americans took to their website expressing their views in support of net neutrality. The FCC then fed these claims to some members of the press who published them. The FCC then cited these press reports as proof that the DDoS attacks actually took place.

    Former FCC executives, industry contractors, and members of Congress have all called the FCC out on these claims. The FCC, under Chairman Ajit Pai, has been unable or unwilling to provide proof of any such attack.

    Bray responded to the Gizmodo article in a blog post where he maintains the attack did happen, but still does not provide any evidence backing up those claims.

    US Representative Frank Pallone Jr. (D- NJ) was "disturbed by press reports that demonstrate a concerted effort by FCC employees to mislead the public in the lead-up to its vote to repeal net neutrality" and is calling on Chairman Pai to "ensure the FCC fully cooperates with GAO's investigation so the American people can finally get a full accounting as to what happened in advance of the agency stripping away critical net neutrality protections."

    The investigation continues as Pai and the FCC remain under scrutiny for the millions of fake comments on their website supporting net neutrality. Removing these fake comments showed 98.5% of people opposed the repeal of net neutrality legislation. The FCC Inspector General is also investigating Pai for possible corruption relating to Sinclair Broadcast Group.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2018
  2. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,571   +2,053

    Is anyone still surprised by this?
  3. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,242   +1,673

  4. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing - click on the rock below.. Posts: 4,135   +1,218

    Why would he lie?
  5. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,571   +2,053

    It's pretty obvious. It allowed them to play the victim and it could be used as an excuse for dismissing the huge number of comments made against the FCC.
    Tonia73986 and wiyosaya like this.
  6. Jeff Re

    Jeff Re TS Addict Posts: 165   +132

    I thought it was painfully obvious at the time that it was just a failure of their system to handle so many comments and not a DDoS attack.
    jobeard and wiyosaya like this.
  7. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,602   +3,213

    A politician lied? Wow, that's a first!

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
    Tonia73986, senketsu and wiyosaya like this.
  8. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,611   +1,825

    Yet another piece of evidence supporting the idea that big government cannot be trusted. You HAVE to keep these people under very, very close watch to prevent this kind of thing from happening.
    JaredTheDragon and wiyosaya like this.
  9. gusticles41

    gusticles41 TS Evangelist Posts: 444   +520

    When the majority of an outraged population is swept under the rug and covered with DDoS lies...you have a big problem in your government.
  10. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,199   +2,481

    Lock him up!

    And this coming from the party that supposedly hates big government. This has got to be the most hypocritical administration ever. Law and order, right. We can break the law as long as it supports our orders, and then we can pardon ourselves.

    Pretend to support the little guy until you get into office and then F them as hard as you can, all the while blaming every immigrant for the problems in the US so the little guy is held captive by alternative facts.

    Lock them all up!
    JaredTheDragon, penn919 and regiq like this.
  11. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,199   +2,481

    Some of us see that. Some of us are blind to that. Maybe those who are blind will see the light. At least I hope so.
    gusticles41 likes this.
  12. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,199   +2,481

  13. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,199   +2,481

    Heard another one today:

    Who invented copper wire?

    Two lawyers fighting over a penny!
  14. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Evangelist Posts: 712   +518

    What? Pai was put there by Trump and Trump is always against fake news. He's draining the swamp so he'd never let this type of thing happen... right?!
    wiyosaya likes this.
  15. kapital98

    kapital98 TS Guru Posts: 324   +256

    These agencies, by administrative regulation, must have robust comment sections. Comments are officially required. Failure to have comments is grounds for automatic overturning. Comments can come from anyone. This is especially important when experts weigh in on regulations (such as environmental regulations). The idea is a more open government and a way for citizens to be heard.

    So there are two issue: 1) Did they follow the administrative regulations? If not, their policy must be overturned but it's not criminal. 2) Did fraud exist regarding a coverup? This is what Oliver claimed. If so, then that's a massive ethics violation and potentially a felony.

    It seems very likely Pai did both.
    wiyosaya and Cycloid Torus like this.
  16. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,164   +1,416

    *sigh*... This guy has been trying since day one to take power AWAY from the govt. NN is the regulation of the internet as a utility. He is AGAINST the Govt sticking it's dirty paws in the internet through this regulation.

    You can choose from a whole pile of reasons we should have NN or why Pai is wrong, but to say he's 'big govt' is completely backwards.
  17. gusticles41

    gusticles41 TS Evangelist Posts: 444   +520

    Care to put a positive spin on falsifying a DDoS attack to silence the people?
    wiyosaya likes this.
  18. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 946   +523

    You don't need a DDoS attack. Without NN, you just slow down the bandwidth for accessing the comments website so that nobody can use the damn thing.
    regiq and wiyosaya like this.
  19. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,199   +2,481

    I believe in the 1st amendment and the right to express opinions. So if you think that Pai is justified to use unethical and perhaps illegal means to justify his end, then you are certainly entitled to that opinion - because the potentially unethical and unlawful nature of these actions was the target of my comments.

    I, for one, believe in laws they way they are written, and no one in the government, regardless of what they may think, is above the rule of law. If they are, then the US government has become something akin to a monarchy or dictatorship and no longer retains any semblance of the democracy that the founders of the nation envisioned, and to that government, the constitution is nothing better than toilet paper.

    How, in any semblance of reality, this can be termed anything but a complete grab of power by government entities in the sense that government officials are trying to rule with an iron, unethical, and potentially illegal hand, is well beyond me. As I see it, this is, big, powerful, small-guy crushing government by any name in any reality. Should this pan out, Pai has bascily said FU citizens to everyone in the US regardless of political leanings. Just because his position supports yours does not mean that our government is not being flushed down the toilet.

    However, if you want to continue to support those kind of tactics, good luck knocking yourself out. When you wake up from that, should you find yourself wondering how our government has gotten the way it has, just remember, you believed it was the right thing for them to do.

    You already have had many explanations from me on what NN was. As I see it, there is no point in trying once again to explain it as NN providing fair data access for all, as opposed to giving private ISPs the power to do anything want to do with any entity's data that Pai supports even if it is unfair to that entity.
  20. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,164   +1,416

    My last comment wasn't a spin on anything - why would I try to spin this? I completely believe the govt did something shady and lied to the public. They're the govt! It's their move! The fact that the govt can't be trusted is exactly why I don't want them regulating the internet in the name of Net Neutrality or anything else.

    This is as far as I read in your comments. I said Pai has given the govt less power by repealing NN. You said "So if you think that Pai is justified to use unethical and perhaps illegal means to justify his end." I didn't say that all - nor did I imply it. Of course it's not OK. But if you're going to make up my side of the argument so you have something easier to dispute that's fine... but I'm not going to participate.
  21. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,699   +4,035

    Sounds like it's time for a legitimate Congressional Investigation but this time let's go after the chairman and not the brave "leakers" that got the word out!
    wiyosaya likes this.
  22. h4expo

    h4expo TS Enthusiast Posts: 48   +8

    Frankly im fed up (no pun intended) with our democracy that isn't run by the people but by the corporations. They are the ones who motivate these political actors, the ones who lobby for right and wrong and the ones who push (legal) issues when it affects their bottom line. How much control do "We the people" have anymore? "Public outcry" might as well be a internet catch phrase to mean "not going to change a damn thing".
    wiyosaya likes this.
  23. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,199   +2,481

    Should this prove to be true, Pai's actions have usurped the will of the American people. That is a power grab by a government official. You say you are not OK with how he did it, but you appear to celebrate that Pai wrested control away from the government. As I see it, you cannot have it both ways. You cannot support something as good that was done illegally.

    As I see it, it is not government that cannot be entrusted, but those people in government who will do anything, even if it is ultimately ruled illegal, to foist their ways on the people when it is clearly against the will of the people. The previous FCC commissioner was clearly not acting in the interest of ISPs, but was attempting to act in the interest of the people who use the internet and give those people guaranteed fair access to internet service which has become common place, even essential, in everyday life in pretty much every part of the world.

    Then along comes Pai. Pai says, here ISPs, I give you all the control you want and put the power in your hands despite years of well-known complaints against those ISPs. How is that not the government taking control in perhaps the worst possible way?

    Even if it ultimately proves to have been done legally, please explain to me how giving control to corporations that have shown they have no interest in providing exemplary customer service is not government meddling?

    The only places where ISPs are improving their infrastructure is where states have stepped in and called them on their fake claims. Seems to me this is yet another instance where ISPs have proven, yet again, that they cannot be trusted to operate equitably without government regulation.

    Please explain to me why I should trust my ISP to do anything other than act in their best interests? The public reputation of ISPs is well-known to be exceptionally bad. Seems to me to be a case of fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

    I've experienced multiple instances of the abuse of an ISP first-hand. In no way will that ISP gain my trust again. At the moment, I have no choice in my market area of another ISP that provides comparable internet speeds. In almost every way, most ISPs have given themselves their bad reputations. Yet somehow giving every semblance of control to them is good because it takes control away from the government?

    I would love to live in a world where people and corporations can be trusted to always act in an ethical manner; so far, people and corporations have proven, to me, anyway, that they are not worthy of that trust, and the only mediator in ensuring ethical behavior that is in any way even remotely effective is government regulation.

    Here's another way of stating my point: There's another saying out there, To take no action is an action. I will take some liberty with that and extend it to To not regulate is regulation.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
  24. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,581   +5,140

    So you don't support candy? All because one box was stolen.
  25. GregonMaui

    GregonMaui TS Booster Posts: 169   +59

    Gee weren't we promised that the swamp would be drained? Seems we got a whole lot more swamp instead.
    wiyosaya likes this.

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