Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica | Ajit Pai admits FCC lied about “DDoS,” blames it on Obama administration

Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica |

Thanks, Obama —

Former CIO “provided inaccurate information” about comment outage, Pai says.


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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai at Fox Studios on November 10, 2017 in New York City.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai acknowledged Monday that the FCC lied about its public comment system being taken down by a DDoS attack during the net neutrality repeal proceeding.

Pai blamed the spreading of false information on employees hired by the Obama administration and said that he isn’t to blame because he “inherited… a culture” from “the prior Administration” that led to the spreading of false information. Pai wrote:

I am deeply disappointed that the FCC’s former Chief Information Officer [David Bray], 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. This is completely unacceptable. 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.”

Pai’s admission came in a statement yesterday. “It has become clear that in addition to a flawed comment system, we inherited from the prior Administration a culture in which many members of the Commission’s career IT staff were hesitant to express disagreement with the Commission’s former CIO in front of FCC management,” he also said.

Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica | Outage affected net neutrality supporters

Pai’s FCC had been insisting for more than a year that distributed denial-of-service attacks took down the FCC comment system on May 8, 2017, just as many net neutrality supporters were trying to submit comments opposing Pai’s plan to eliminate the rules.

Pai’s statement yesterday came after the FCC Inspector General’s office investigated the incident. Pai thanked the Inspector General’s office “for the comprehensive report it has issued,” but the FCC hasn’t made the report available publicly. We asked Pai’s office for a copy of the report yesterday and haven’t received it yet.

“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,” said FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, the commission’s only Democrat. “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.”

The FCC claimed it was hit by the DDoS attack just after comedian John Oliver asked his viewers to submit comments opposing Pai’s net neutrality repeal.

Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica | Pai: It wasn’t my fault

According to Pai, the Inspector General’s report “debunks the conspiracy theory” that Pai himself was to blame for the FCC spreading false information. Pai said:

I’m pleased that this report debunks the conspiracy theory that my office or I had any knowledge that the information provided by the former CIO was inaccurate and was allowing that inaccurate information to be disseminated for political purposes. Indeed, as the report documents, on the morning of May 8, it was the former CIO who informed my office that “some external folks attempted to send high traffic in an attempt to tie-up the server from responding to others, which unfortunately makes it appear unavailable to everyone attempting to get through the queue.” In response, the Commission’s Chief of Staff [Matthew Berry], who works in my office, asked if the then-CIO was confident that the incident wasn’t caused by

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