FCC Chairman Ajit Pai confirmed long-standing suspicions that the distributed denial of service attack that hit his agency’s website during the lead-up to the repeal of net neutrality was bogus.
The supposed cyberattack was blamed for taking the comment system offline for the FCC’s website. The timing was thought by many to be exceptionally convenient for Pai’s push to repeal net neutrality, as it immediately followed comedian John Oliver’s request that viewers contact the agency to protest the move.
Although Pai admitted the cyberattack was fiction, he was quick to avoid personal responsibility, instead blaming the former FCC CIO, John Bray. In a statement released this week, he stated:
“I am deeply disappointed that the FCC’s former Chief Information Officer [David Bray], who was hired by the prior Administration and is no longer with the Commission, provided inaccurate information about this incident to me, my office, Congress, and the American people.”
Pai has been widely criticized for his refusal to provide evidence for the cyberattack, despite having claimed to possess documentation of the attack.
Net neutrality advocacy group Fight for the Future commented on his statement, saying that under his leadership “the FCC sabotaged its own comment process… Pai attempts to blame his staff, but this happened on his watch and he repeatedly obstructed attempts by lawmakers and the press to get answers.”
Read Pai’s full statement here.