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John Oliver on Last Week Tonight

So it turns out that the call to arms from John Oliver to save net neutrality prevent cable company fuckery might not have broken FCC.gov after all. VICE is reporting that it was a hacked database denial of service attack, which would be pretty obnoxious, and doesn't do much to make the case for the productive use of the internet all of us are trying to protect. Badly done, hackers. Badly done. If you did it.

Because the FCC itself is saying it wasn't attacked, and yes the huge number of comments coming in could have broken it. Because it is 17 years old.

For now, it's reasonable to believe that it was, as the FCC says, just an issue of a large increase in visitors triggering errors across its 17-year-old site. "This could have been caused by a number of things. Because our system is so old," the spokesperson says, "it's not set up to receive the load of comments we received last week."
At least they have a newer commenting system than the VA's scheduling system. The Republican plan to destroy all of government is going along swimmingly.

That aside, the FCC has logged nearly 103,000 comments on "Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet" as it calls the issue in the last thirty days. The next most commented on issue for the agency is the closely related Comcast/Time Warner mergers at just about 3,700 comments. Those are largely comments from real, albeit sometimes odd people. There might also be some in there opposed to net neutrality from people who had no idea they were taking a position on the issue, thanks to the cable companies astroturfing.

We've got another month to make our voices drown out the astroturfers. If you haven't already, send your comments. You can use the FCC comments page; the inbox they set up specifically for this issue, openinternet@fcc.gov; and with Daily Kos's petition.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 02:26 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Jon, keep breaking that MoFo! (8+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 02:30:39 PM PDT

  •  Been hearing alot of comments in the UK (7+ / 0-)

    like "why the hell did we let John Oliver leave". Hell he was virtually unknown over here before he left for the u.s.

  •  I got an e-mail response (5+ / 0-)

    From the FCC:

    Thank you very much for contacting us about the ongoing Open Internet proceeding. We're hoping to hear from as many people as possible about this critical issue, and so I'm very glad that we can include your thoughts and opinions.

    I'm a strong supporter of the Open Internet, and I will fight to keep the internet open. Thanks again for sharing your views with me.

    Tom Wheeler
    Chairman
    Federal Communications Commission

    That they responded this much means we are getting through. I have NEVER received any response from the FCC to written or electronic comments before.

    Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance. Kurt Vonnegut

    by ToKnowWhy on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 03:52:57 PM PDT

    •  It also contains an (unintentional) warning: (0+ / 0-)

      Let us not forget that Wheeler refers to his net-discrimination plan as "open Internet" — as classically Rovian a term as the "Clear Skies" give-away to Big Coal.

      Thus, since any letters supporting "open Internet" will be interpreted as support for Wheeler, people need to make clear that what they want is for the Internet to remain free-as-in-freedom (& toward that end, for the FCC to put the Internet back under Title II where it belongs).

      Stop the FCC from killing the Internet! E-mail them. Call them. Tell the President & your congressmen to help save Internet freedom!

      by Brown Thrasher on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:20:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I was surprised when I got the response. (0+ / 0-)

      Play chess for the Kossacks on Chess.com. Join the site, then the group at http://www.chess.com/groups/view/kossacks.

      by rhutcheson on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 12:42:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree... (0+ / 0-)

      sounds good and almost convincing, but I would have liked to see it read "I'm a strong supporter of the FREE and Open Internet, and I will fight to keep the internet Free and open".
      Tom Wheeler is a snake and can't be trusted.

    •  Liar Liar (0+ / 0-)

      Liar Liar Pants On Fire

      This guy is just as "Bought" as any of his cohorts.  IF his lips are moving--he's lying

  •  John is a riot. He skewers the idiots that be, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brown Thrasher, Eyesbright

    and that delightful accent is the icing on the commentary. He never fails to make me lol.

    In a small way it's not surprising that he wasn't very well-known in the UK. I listened to a bit of BBC when my family and I were driving around Britain 20 years ago. Even the ordinary announcers have a wicked sense of humor and we were all laughing hard - even my teenager. Anyhow, glad he's here and I hope we can keep him. I imagine he likes it here because our political theatre provides him MUCH better material than he'd get in the UK.

  •  dDOS attacks aren't hacking. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brown Thrasher, Eyesbright, nextstep

    They've got nothing to do with gaining illicit access.

    It's like calling laying siege to a castle espionage.

    ProTip - the people who like to play PVP MMORPG's often see this site as one.

    by JesseCW on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 04:52:43 PM PDT

  •  DDOS = Distributed Denial of Service (0+ / 0-)

    Databases have nothing to do with it.

    They don't win until we quit fighting!

    by Eyesbright on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:27:23 PM PDT

    •  Yes, but .... dDOS is something different (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JuliathePoet, Ishmaelbychoice

      "ddos" or "dds" or "DDOS" are, indeed, acronyms for Directed Denial of Service, i.e., a coordinated attack where an overwhelming amount of traffic is directed at a target website over a certain period.

      "dDOS", or database Denial of Service is a similar but more specialized approach where one or several transactions are made in a database and then a coordinated and massive search of the database targeting those transactions is made.  In other words, the first stage of the attack is to bait a hook and the second stage is to send a massive number of bots fishing.

      The difference is that a dds attack vector simply overwhelms the (external) gateway while a dDOS attack vector ties-up the (internal) database with a massive number of search transactions directed at the same database target, usually bringing the system down as processes hang and requiring a hard boot recovery.

      To protect against dDOS large public search engines not only have massively parallel architecture with greater capacity, but typically mirror databases and split search queries to level the load, and also may use heuristics to filter and detect an attack signature.

      No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

      by koNko on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 11:08:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's weird. About the worst way to attack a (0+ / 0-)

        database is to go after the same item over and over.  The query is likely to be stored in cache, meaning that the database doesn't actually do a search but returns the stored result.  Much better to do a large number of randomized searches.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Jun 15, 2014 at 02:10:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Current number of comments: 104,658. (0+ / 0-)

    If Oliver's segment succeeded in motivating a lot of people beyond just snark & into formal commenting, then good on him.

    At any rate, the new number is encouraging given that it was reportedly only about 45,000 just a few days ago.

    Stop the FCC from killing the Internet! E-mail them. Call them. Tell the President & your congressmen to help save Internet freedom!

    by Brown Thrasher on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:32:28 PM PDT

  •  103,000 comments isn't very many when you're (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JuliathePoet

    thinking in terms of burying a website unless they all came in at once, or, more realistically, the span of less than a single business day.

    So -- maybe somebody did launch a DOS attack. Or, maybe, the FCC site is really that bad.

    FWIW --

    There are 3600 seconds per hour and 86400 seconds per day. Any decent site of national interest should be able to capture and persist 15000-20000 comments per hour.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 09:09:08 PM PDT

  •  The FCC rant will be part of comedic history (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RedwoodGirl

    My husband has watched it over and over,  just to remind himself that there are other thinking people in the world, and because he can't help himself.

    I have loved John Oliver when he stepped in while Jon Stewart was on vacation, and I think the new show is brilliant, so far.  A lot of us Yanks actually like a little international perspective,  and it's nice to have more than a couple of hours of BBC Radio News.

    I'm very glad he is here, and having a real impact on issues that matter.  The Daily Show has done a real service in giving political satire/news a good name,  and at the same time, being a training ground for even more great political satirists.

  •  The FCC website was revamped in the last (0+ / 0-)

    five years or so.  It got prettier colors and more artistic design.

    But they didn't bother to include much of the actual information users need.  Once you ask for that, you get sent to the old system.

  •  Obama installed the Cable Cos Lead Lobbyist (0+ / 0-)

    to head the FCC. Do we really think these Corpro-Fascists are going to read comments?


    No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle.

    by CitizenOfEarth on Sun Jun 15, 2014 at 05:59:45 AM PDT

    •  But by all means, add a comment to the FCC (0+ / 0-)

      If for nothing else but to annoy them and their corporate masters.


      No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle.

      by CitizenOfEarth on Sun Jun 15, 2014 at 06:16:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This comment nauseates me (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Robiodo, rubyr, ps2os2

      Seriously, if you think that any attempts to comment or influence the process are hopeless, why don't you just crawl under a rock and leave everyone else alone?  I have nothing but contempt for your attitude.

      And the reality is that these comments can and do make a difference in some instances.  One prominent example of citizen comments making a difference was the creation of the LPFM radio service in the late nineties -- the Clinton FCC was not especially open to community concerns, either, but a groundswell of public support in the form of multiple petitions and requests for a rulemaking did indeed push the FCC into action.

      And under Bush, the FCC attempted to loosen broadcast ownership rules to the point where one company would have been allowed to own 8 radio stations, 3 TV stations, and a newspaper in the largest markets.  As a result of a large number of opposing comments that were received in response to the NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking), the rules ultimately released were watered down substantially -- and were ultimately stayed by the courts.

      It takes five minutes to follow the comment link in the last paragraph of the diary and file quick comments.  If enough of us are willing to take those five minutes, we might indeed make a difference.  No, it's not guaranteed -- but it is guaranteed that we will fail if we take COE's attitude and do nothing.

      If Democrats proclaim the the Earth is round and Republicans insist it is flat, we will shortly see a column in the Washington Post claiming the the earth is really a semi-circle.

      by TexasTom on Sun Jun 15, 2014 at 07:54:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the good comments, TXTom. You are so (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TexasTom, rubyr

        right. I am often tempted to succumb to a jaded state and say oh, WTF? Nothing I can do will matter anymore or make a difference. It is precisely in those moments that I realize the importance of one person taking a couple of minutes to do something - anything. Make a phone call to a congressman, type a quick email, whatever. This apathy of which I speak which dominates most Americans is as deadly as a rattlesnake bite. Until we all get off our asses and DO SOMETHING, very little will change. Thank you again.

  •  It ridiculous (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brown Thrasher

    Internet access should be free period. I'm tired of companies complaining about infrastructure costs.  Blah blah blah

    You best believe it does

    by HangsLeft on Sun Jun 15, 2014 at 07:03:23 AM PDT

  •  From denying climate science to tearing down th... (0+ / 0-)

    From denying climate science to tearing down the govt & handing all power to "private sector" entities the conservatives are hell-bent on creating an actual dystopian reality.

  •  The FCC was set up to protect the public intere... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Robiodo

    The FCC was set up to protect the public interest, when telephone service and broadcast communications were new and unprecedented.

    It was clear to FDR and his administration that this was like acquiring a whole new territory that would be at least as significant to the future as the Louisiana Purchase.

    Looking back, the principle of common carriage or universal service caused telephone service and electric power to be distributed - not just to the well to do in cities - but to rural farm families and small towns. This created the middle class economy of the Post War years. What did this was reducing the economic disparity that had led to the Depression.

    Broadcast principles such as equal time served the larger American society by ensuring that rich propagandists could not monopolize the media. That led to a broader citizenship that defined normal as intellectual fairness.

    Amazingly smart governance. When you consider Reagan's elimination of the Fairness Doctrine and the subsequent drift towards a skewed media owned by rich propagandists you see what FDR was thinking.

    Now the FCC seems to have been captured by the corporations who hated FDR.

    Part of the problem is that most political people who participate in the Democratic Party and platform development have been uninterested in media issues because they come with vocabulary and discussion which seems too intellectual.

    Progressives are going to have to figure out how to reverse the trend that has caused us to ignore this. The current situation is driven by many years of insidious and subtle consequences of inattention.

    I have had the experienced the problem of bringing resolutions to the platform development process on common carriage and related issues since the early 1990s.

    At least now, 20 years later, more people are getting this. But Obama's appointment of Wheeler is the result of a long process in which Democrats generally relegated FCC issues to egghead status.

    A lot of education is needed.

  •  Over 118K comments on Net Neutrality (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Toprow, ps2os2

    Checking today, I found the comment level on Net Neutrality over 118K.

    Please check out other docket #s for Comcast/TWC merger, etc. & comment on them as well.

  •  DDOS!?!? BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Crapcast/att/time-warner/abc/cbs/nbc/faux got together and put the 12-yo script-kiddie son of one of their CEOs ton work to break the system...

    ...mostly because they were too cheap and stupid to pay for a REAL hacker...

  •  "Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet" (0+ / 0-)

    That even SOUNDS like a Republican plan to totally privatize a resource, doesn't it?

    OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

    by mstaggerlee on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 06:22:16 AM PDT

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