The website for the Federal Communications Commission has come under attack.
Initially, the problems were believed to have been caused by comedian John Oliver, who on Sunday urged his viewers to leave comments on the site about the FCC’s plans to revisit net neutrality rules.
Net neutrality rules were implemented in 2015 and required internet service providers to treat all traffic equally. New FCC chairman Ajit Pai has said he will review the rules, arguing they are “holding back investment, innovation and job creation.”
The FCC, which “regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable,” says the website attacks were coordinated, distributed denial of service attacks, not a surge in traffic.
“These actors were not attempting to file comments themselves, rather they made it difficult for legitimate commenters to access and file with the FCC,” chief information officer David Bray said. “While the comment system remained up and running the entire time, these distributed denial of service events tied up the servers and prevented them from responding to people attempting to submit comments.”
On his show, “Last Week Tonight,” Oliver said, “Every internet group needs to come together … gamers, YouTube celebrities, Instagram models, Tom from MySpace if you’re still alive. We need all of you,” he said.
The FCC will vote on net neutrality rules on May 18.