Senate Democrats Seek FBI Probe of FCC DDoS Attack

A group of Senate Democrats, including some of the loudest critics of FCC chairman Ajit Pai's effort to roll back Title II, have asked the FBI to investigate the multiple distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks the FCC says it suffered that affected its online comment system. 

“This particular attack may have denied the American people the opportunity to contribute to what is supposed to be a fair and transparent process, which in turn may call into question the integrity of the FCC’s rulemaking proceedings,” the senators wrote to acting FBI director Andrew McCabe. “We request that you update us on the status of the FBI’s investigation and brief us on this matter.”

The alleged attack appeared to be in connection with the net neutrality proceeding. Signing on to the letter were Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). 

Markey and Wyden have been leaders in the effort to preserve Title II. 

Elsewhere, Fight for the Future has asked for an investigation and documentation of the attack, and some in Congress have also asked for info about the attacks, but the Senators say the FBI needs to get involved given the seriousness of any cyber attack. 

They asked the FBI to brief them "on this matter" by June 23.

(Photo via J's FlickrImage taken on May 17, 2017 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 9x16 aspect ratio.)

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.