Embattled American Regulator, the FCC, has admitted that their comment section was never actually hacked during net neutrality debate.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s vote to kill network neutrality last year continues to remain controversial to this day.
Last year, the regulator opened a consultation process prior to the vote to get the views of Americans on the question of network neutrality. Overwhelmingly, American citizens said that they do not like the idea of repealing network neutrality. The response was so overwhelming that the comments section of the regulators website crashed.
Since FCC chairman Ajit Pai was pushing for repealing network neutrality in the first place, this was not the response he was hoping for. Seemingly as a result, the FCC claimed that the comments section was brought down by a DDOS attack. Ever since the claim, the regulator has been pressed to provide evidence of the claim. The FCC ultimately refused and wound up killing network neutrality anyway despite the outrage.
Now, the FCC is finally admitting that they were never actually hacked. From TechCrunch:
The FCC has come clean on the fact that a purported hack of its comment system last year never actually took place, after a report from its inspector general found a lack of evidence supporting the idea. Chairman Ajit Pai blamed the former chief information officer and the Obama administration for providing “inaccurate information about this incident to me, my office, Congress, and the American people.”
The semi-apology and finger-pointing are a disappointing conclusion to the year-long web of obfuscation that the FCC has woven. Since the first moment it was reported that there was a hack of the system, there have been questions about the nature, scale and response to it that the FCC has studiously avoided even under direct Congressional questioning.
It was so galling to everyone looking for answers that the GAO was officially asked to look into it. The letter requesting the office’s help at the time complained that the FCC had “not released any records or documentation that would allow for confirmation that an attack occurred, that it was effectively dealt with, and that the FCC has begun to institute measures to thwart future attacks and ensure the security of its systems.” That investigation is still going on, but one conducted by the FCC’s own OIG resulted in the report Pai cites.
While the shifting in blame is no doubt going to be yet another point of controversy, the admission is likely to be unsurprising by most observers at this point. The idea that American’s came out in droves to save the Internet has long been one that has held up to this day. Few believe the theory that malicious foreign actors were attempting to stop American’s from voicing their opinion on network neutrality outside of the Trump administration.
It’s unclear if this latest admission is really going to change anything in the debate surrounding network neutrality. At the moment, it is currently being fought in other venue’s such as state level legislation and in the courts. Still, the admission is unlikely to win over very many people given all that has happened up to this point.