×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

FCC Says It Was Hit With Denial-of-Service Attacks After John Oliver Net Neutrality Segment

The FCC said that it was subject to “multiple distributed denial-of-service attacks” starting on Sunday night, hours after John Oliver called on viewers of his HBO series “Last Week Tonight” to file comments to urge the agency to preserve current net neutrality rules.

“These were deliberate attempts by external actors to bombard the FCC’s comment system with a high amount of traffic to our commercial cloud host,” said David Bray, the FCC’s chief information officer.  “These actors were not attempting to file comments themselves; rather they made it difficult for legitimate commenters to access and file with the FCC.”

He said that the attacks began at midnight. He did not say whether the attacks were in any way related to Oliver’s segment. An FCC spokesman, Mark Wigfield, said that the attacks ended about 8:45 a.m. this morning.

Oliver urged viewers to go to the FCC’s website to file comments, just as he did in 2014, when the FCC was deliberating its latest version of net neutrality rules.

Bray said that the comment system “remained up and running the entire time,” but that the attacks “tied up the servers and prevented them from responding to people attempting to submit comments.”

“We have worked with our commercial partners to address this situation and will continue to monitor developments going forward,” he said.

So far, there have been more than 100,000 filings on net neutrality since Sunday, the bulk of them since Oliver’s show, according to a reading of the FCC file. Oliver announced on the air that they had secured a URL — gofccyourself.com — to make it easier for users to find the proceeding and comment page.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has proposed repealing the FCC’s reclassification of internet service as a “Title II” common carrier. That was the regulatory maneuver the agency took in 2015 to impose a robust set of net neutrality rules.

Critics of Pai’s proposal say it would weaken the rules and diminish the agency’s authority.

Fight for the Future, a group that pushed for the 2015 net neutrality rules and is defending them now, said that the incident raises questions of just what happened.

“The FCC should immediately release its logs to an independent security analyst or major news outlet to verify exactly what happened last night,” said Evan Greer, the group’s campaign director. “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. Anything less is a subversion of our democracy.”

More Biz

  • Chinese Movie Ticket Giant Maoyan Loses

    Losses Reach $20 Million at China's Maoyan

    Reporting its first financial data since a February IPO in Hong Kong, mainland Chinese movie ticketing firm Maoyan saw its revenue grow by 47% to $560 million (RMB3.76 billion) in 2018. Net losses for the year grew from $11.3 million (RMB76 million) to $20 million (RMB134 million). Though the company also chose to present what [...]

  • Apple Event: Everything We Learned From

    Everything We Learned From Today's Apple Event

    After revealing new services in news, finance, and gaming, Apple CEO Tim Cook kept the biggest, most anticipated announcement until last. Cook, along with heads of worldwide video programming Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, and a whole group of Apple’s creative talents, presented the company’s new Apple TV+ streaming service, which is slated to [...]

  • Wynn Nightlife Announces Residency for Roving

    Wynn Las Vegas to Host Residency for Roving Spanish Party Elrow

    One of Las Vegas’ biggest music players is doubling down on the power of a global brand instead of just a single DJ to help them stay on top of Sin City’s increasingly competitive clubbing scene. Wynn Nightlife has announced a year-long residency and partnership with Spain’s Elrow, a respected Ibiza-born party that last year [...]

  • PledgeMusic Down to a ‘Skeleton Staff,’

    PledgeMusic Down to a ‘Skeleton Staff,’ Although a Potential Buyer Is in the Wings

    PledgeMusic, the direct-to-fan marketplace that has faced serious financial troubles in recent months, is down to a “skeleton staff” and payroll in the U.S. office ceased within the last month, sources close to the situation tell Variety, although a potential buyer is “very interested” in the company and has been in due diligence for several [...]

  • Michael Avenatti

    Michael Avenatti Arrested on Bank Fraud and Extortion Charges

    Attorney Michael Avenatti was arrested Monday and is facing federal charges on both coasts of bank fraud, misappropriating client funds, and trying to extort Nike. Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York allege that Avenatti tried to extract more than $20 million from Nike, and said that if the company did not pay him, [...]

  • Daily Show Viacom

    DirecTV, Viacom Avert Blackout After Marathon Negotiation

    DirecTV and Viacom have agreed on a carriage renewal pact covering a raft of Viacom’s cable channels after a marathon negotiation over the weekend. In a joint statement early Monday, the companies said: “We are pleased to announce a renewed Viacom-AT&T contract that includes continued carriage of Viacom services across multiple AT&T platforms and products. [...]

  • Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018

    Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018 Compensation Soar to $129.4 Million

    Discovery Inc. president-CEO David Zaslav is once again making headlines for an enormous compensation package. Zaslav’s 2018 compensation soared to $129.44 million in 2018, fueled by stock options and grants awarded as the longtime Discovery chief signed a new employment contract last July that takes him through 2023 at the cable programming group. Zaslav received [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content