Did John Oliver's GoFCCYourself.com Crash the FCC Server?

By Paul Maxwell Report Archives
Cover image for  article: Did John Oliver's GoFCCYourself.com Crash the FCC Server?

Which government agency tells the real fake truth?  Back in 2014, the Federal Confusion Commission (FCC) was dominated by autocratic Democratic Chairman Tom Wheeler when -- on HBO -- John Oliver ranted about net neutrality. (He was for it). Millions of subsequent postings on the FCC website were said to have crashed its server as fans of Oliver weighed in supporting the move to Title II telecom rules for the internet. Fast forward to 2017 and Oliver was again ranting on HBO about new FCC Republican Chairman Ajit Pai's move to dismantle Title II rules in favor of returning to Title I information service "light" regulations. The FCC's servers got overloaded again. (For a little background Verizon, where Pai once worked, sued to overturn Wheeler's Title II designation … and lost.)  

This time, as my old daily CableFax reported, "Don't blame John Oliver fans for crashing the FCC's electronic filing system like they did in 2014 with public comments on net neutrality. While the HBO host made a similar plea for public comment, even buying the url GoFCCYourself.com to streamline the process, the Commission reports that it suffered multiple distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks beginning at midnight ET Sunday. 'These were deliberate attempts by external actors [not Oliver fans] to bombard the FCC's comment system with a high amount of traffic to our commercial cloud host,' FCC CIO Dr. David Bray said in a statement."

The same thing, the FCC now says, happened back in 2014.  Is this another case of re-writing history?  Hard to tell.  But just as a reminder: Who's in charge has changed … and winners always re-write history.

As Politico's Morning Tech reported:  "Net neutrality activists are skeptical. Fight for the Future Campaign Director Evan Greer wants proof of the attacks and questioned whether the FCC is being 'intentionally misleading' by claiming the surge in traffic from people trying to get to the site amounted to an attack to let themselves off the hook for the site's failure after the episode. 'The public deserves to know, and the FCC has a responsibility to maintain a functioning website and ensure that every member of the public who wants to submit a comment about net neutrality has the ability to do so,' Greer said.  'Anything less is a subversion of our democracy.'"

Random Notes

Consolidation continues to accelerate.  Sinclair is getting much, much bigger with the impending acquisition of Tribune Media's stations.  Very interesting (for Sprint and T-Mobile losing an exit?) move by Comcast and Charter to more or less share the Verizon MVNO bringing a four-play to cable.  When will Cox, Altice and others join?  Imagine seamless interactivity via wireless, fiber and more! That would make me drop DirecTV and switch to the terrific X-1 box from Comcast come November (the 2nd year anniversary of them discovering I was once a comp sub.)

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