Net neutrality activist group Fight for the Future says it is "extremely skeptical" about the FCC's claims of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack Sunday night.
The FCC said the attack happened at midnight, which would be just after comedian John Oliver's Last Week Tonight segment calling on viewers to flood the FCC with comments for retaining the Title II classification for ISPs new FCC chairman Ajit Pai wants to reverse.
Fight for the Future is calling on the FCC to release logs on the attack to an independent third party—a security researcher or media outlet—to independently verify the attack.
"The agency has a responsibility to maintain a functioning website to receive large numbers of comments and feedback from the public," said Evan Greer campaign director for Fight for the Future. "They can't blame DDoS attacks without proof, they need to fix this problem and ensure that comments on this important issue are not lost."
Fight for the Future said that the FCC is reportedly suggesting that the same thing happened in 2014 after Oliver took aim at then FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, which it points out was not widely reported at the time—instead the reports were that the site had crashed from the weight of comments from Oliver-inspired net neutrality supporters—and makes them even more suspect of the current claim.
FCC spokespeople were not available for comment at presstime.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.