In May 2017, the FCC’s website received massive attention following a segment in support of Net Neutrality on John Oliver’s show Last Week Tonight. The show encouraged viewers to visit the FCC’s site and express their opposition to Ajit Pai‘s plan to repeal Net neutrality rules. The overwhelming response crashed the FCC’s web server.
However, e-mails obtained through an FOIA request and reviewed by Gizmodo now show that FCC officials concocted a false story to attempt to pass off the crash as a series of DDOS attacks. A statement was issued and TechDirt reports that
FCC CIO David Bray and FCC media relations head Mark Wigfield repeatedly fed false information about the nonexistent attack to reporters, then used those (incorrect) stories to further prop up their flimsy claims about the DDOS…
Daily Kos further elaborated that:
[Bray] created a rumor, got it reported as a “fact,” and then used that “fact” to support his new made up story. The emails that Gizmodo go through show a variety of news outlets being used in similar fashion, then having their work used as the evidence…
This news will no doubt further vilify the beleaguered federal agency, following on reports of stolen identities used to post anti-Net Neutrality comments, charges of corruption, and suggested bribery. The revelations also serve as vindication for many who were led to question the legitimacy of the claim from the start thanks to the fact that
The FCC has been unwilling or unable to produce any evidence an attack occurred—not to the reporters who’ve requested and even sued over it, and not to U.S. lawmakers who’ve demanded to see it.