Lawmakers aren’t particularly impressed by reports that the Trump FCC made up several DDOS attacks to downplay massive public opposition to their net neutrality repeal, then repeatedly lied to reporters trying to get to the bottom of the scandal. A report by Gizmodo this week noted that the agency made up the attack after the FCC website collapsed under the load of angry citizens that had just watched HBO Comedian John Oliver’s 2017 report on net neutrality, apparently hoping to downplay massive public anger at Trump FCC policies.
The report obtained FCC staffer e-mails showing they repeatedly misled reporters, then used those factually-incorrect reports to prop up their bogus DDOS attack claims.
House Energy & Commerce Committee ranking member Frank Pallone says he wasn’t particularly impressed by the report, and urged the FCC to cooperate with an ongoing GAO investigation into the DDOS attack that wasn’t.
“Last summer, I directed Government Accountability Office investigators to get to the bottom of this alleged cyberattack and the FCC s unusual response,” said Pallone. “In light of today s news, I call on chairman Ajit 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.”
Of course the bogus DDOS attack is only one of several scandals plaguing Ajit Pai’s FCC. The GAO is also investigating who was behind millions of bogus comments filed at the FCC website during the public comment period of the repeal of net neutrality, the only real chance the public had to weigh in on the proposal (not that the FCC listened). Ajit Pai himself is also being investigated by the nonpartisan FCC Inspector General for possible corruption in the wake of his efforts to gut media consolidation rules at Sinclair Broadcast Group’s request.
Whether any of this results in anything even resembling actual accountability for Pai or his incarnation of the FCC remains to be seen.