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Pai to Hill: Report on Net Neutrality DDoS Attack Imminent

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the FCC inspector general (IG) is close to releasing his findings on the alleged dedicated denial of service (DDoS) attack on the FCC's network neutrality comment docket.

That came in a Hill FCC oversight hearing at which Pai said he had been cooperating with the IG and a parallel General Accountability Office investigation sought by some Hil Dems 

Related: Wheeler Says There Was No DDoS Attack Cover Up in 2014

The comment docket was flooded with comments from Russia and bot-driven input. The FCC also said it was the subject of distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks that impeded the filing of comments and occurred not lot long after John Oliver, host of HBO's Last Week Tonight, called for a flood of pro-network neutrality comments.

Sounding a bit "Trumpian," Pai said the IG is doing a "fantastic" job and to "stay tuned" for results shortly.

Related: Pai to Hill: Little Recourse for Bogus, Bulk, Net Neutrality Comments

Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel saw it quite differently. She said she did not think the FCC had been sufficiently cooperative with the various investigations, including one by New York state, and said that was a problem.

She also said she did not believe there had been a DDoS attack: "Our claim that the agency suffered a Distributed Denial of Service Attack following John Oliver’s report on our net neutrality plans is just not credible," she said.

So did Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.). She asked if Pai had referred the malicious comments to a law enforcement agency. Pai said the FCC had talked with Justice, whose role it was to do so. Eshoo was not assuaged, saying the chairman was avoiding the question.

Pai pointed out he had also taken actions to try and resolve some of the issues, like the 7.5 million comments in support of Title II—which Pai did not support—that used and the 400,000 pro-Title II comments from Russia. His point being that a bunch of the pro-Title II comments were fake. 

He said the FCC would be looking for ways to prevent those if it was allowed to re-purpose some appropriations.

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

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.