Today, the U.S. government’s Federal Communications Commission is going to give public comments another try, this time, hopefully without a DDoS attack. The infamous attack – which is questioned by some, including democrats — happened back in May after late-night host John Oliver prompted his viewers to express their dissatisfaction with the proposed repeal of Net Neutrality. The 5 million comments flooded the comment system. But, let’s back up a little.
This May, a record-breaking five-million Americans submitted their dissatisfaction to the FCC in response to Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to roll back Obama-era Net Neutrality laws. Here’s a refresher: essentially, Net Neutrality is a set of rules that say Internet Service Providers can’t prioritize certain internet traffic over their network for any financial gain. This means they’re barred from charging companies for quicker access or slowing down one website over another. A repeal of these laws would set a dangerous precedent. But, advocates for Pai’s proposal say it’s not about repealing Net Neutrality, but rather transferring the power. And that’s true – Pai’s proposal would roll back Title II and hand over the matter to the FTC. But in doing so, it means the ISP’s would be in charge of self-enforcing Net Neutrality. So the question is: can we really trust that they will? Well, democrats and much of the tech world including giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google don’t think so. Today, 180 internet organizations who back net neutrality are helping organize and promote today’s Day of Action – a call to the public to tell the FCC that they want to see Net Neutrality stay in place. Many companies have plans to prompt their visitors to leave a comment on the FCC website, as well as show and explain to their visitors what a rollback of net neutrality would mean to them.
Last time Americans were prompted to do so by comedian and Last Week Tonight host John Oliver, so many comments were filed that the website came to a screeching halt, and even became impossible to access.
The FCC claimed it was due to a “non-traditional DDoS attack.” But, Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, like others, are skeptical of the timing. Nonetheless, they say they want to prevent any sort of attack or system failure that would prohibit the people from voicing their opinions during today’s Day of Action.
“It is critical to the rulemaking and regulatory process that the public be able to take part without unnecessary technical or administrative burden,” the senators wrote in an official letter to Pai. “The FCC must be able to accept all comments filed to ensure that all voices are heard.”
So what will happen today? That’s yet to be seen. At last check, the FCC had no comment on the matter – but, we sure think the American people will.