Net neutrality is the hottest of topics lately. It is so much so that even John Oliver, host of “Last Week Tonight”, called out the FCC on their plans to rewrite net neutrality rules. He asked his viewers to go to the FCC website and leave comments with their thoughts on this development. The site then crashed, and initial reports suggested Oliver was to blame!
The FCC made a statement concerning the event:
Beginning on Sunday night at midnight, our analysis reveals that the FCC was subject to multiple distributed denial-of-service attacks. These were deliberate attempts by external actors to bombard the FCC’s comment system.
So… apparently, it was not because of Oliver’s call to action. It may just be coincidence that the talk show host told his viewers to hit up the comment section. Meanwhile, someone else flooded the comments with a disabling amount of traffic, designed to take out the site.
The FCC stated that the attack did not prevent people from commenting on the website. It froze up their servers to the point that they were unable to respond to anyone. Now, there are calls to prove that cyber attack even happened at all.
This is a little reminscent of John Oliver’s original mission concerning the FCC, back in 2014. At the time, he set up the domain http://gofccyourself.com, which subsequently overloaded the agency’s website. While they have since upgraded their systems, this DDoS attack was still very effective.
This could have been a coincidence. Or, it could have been a pro who happened to be a viewer of “Last Week Tonight”. Whatever the case may be, this is great evidence of how strongly the public feels about net neutrality.
According to Wikipedia:
Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments regulating the Internet should treat all data on the Internet the same, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.
This means that everyone and everything on the internet should be treated fairly, rather than giving some content or users preferential treatment. It may sound really nerdy and complicated, but it can have some serious implications in the average person’s everyday life. I suggest you pay attention to this debate, alongside John Oliver and whoever launched this attack against the FCC.
What do you geeks think about net neutrality? Let me know in the comments!