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John Oliver Gets Fired Up Over Net Neutrality, Causes FCC's Site To Temporarily Crash (fortune.com) 153

Three years ago, late night comedian John Oliver propelled an arcane telecom topic into the national debate by spurring millions of ordinary Americans to file comments with the Federal Communications Commission in favor of "net neutrality." Among other things, that effort caused the FCC website to crash, which couldn't handle the "overwhelming" traffic. Now Oliver is back at it, and he is already causing the site some troubles. From a report on Fortune: On Sunday night, Oliver devoted a chunk of his Last Week Tonight show to condemning a plan by the FCC's new Chairman, Ajit Pai, to tear up current net neutrality rules, which forbid Internet providers from delivering some websites faster than others. In the clip, Oliver urges viewers to visit a website called "GoFCCYourself," which redirects users to a section of the FCC site where people can comment on the net neutrality proceeding, known as "Restoring Internet Freedom" in Pai's parlance. Viewers took up Oliver's offer in spades -- so much so that the FCC's servers appeared to be overwhelmed by the flood of traffic. The comment page is currently loading with delays and, according to reports from several outlets, the site went down altogether for a while. On Monday, Ashley Boyd, VP of Advocacy for Mozilla, also published a blog post to remind people that the next 10 days are critical for the internet's future. Much like Oliver, Mozilla is also making it easier for people to voice their opinion. The post adds: Add your name to our letter, and we'll deliver your message straight to the FCC. You can also record an impassioned voicemail using Mozilla's call tool. So far, Internet users have recorded more than 50 hours of audio for the FCC's ears.
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John Oliver Gets Fired Up Over Net Neutrality, Causes FCC's Site To Temporarily Crash

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is what you get when you DICTATE legislation and policy through regulatory bodies like this -If you politicize the bodies to get your way don't be surprised when another side gets in and changes the rules to the politics they want.

    • The FCC is part of the executive branch of government what you call the administration, so you are blaming the administration of being political?

      I have heard the Pope might be catholic too, maybe that would also be a worthy cause for you?

    • by guises ( 2423402 )
      What are you trying to get at here? (Also, why is dictate in all caps?) Are you trying to suggest that congress should be able to determine regulatory policy? And you think that this would be less politicized? ... There was a time when this would have been a rhetorical question, I would have followed it up with something like, "Of course you don't think that, no one is that stupid." ... ::sigh::

      Congress already dictates regulatory policy. The FCC and other such bodies only have what powers congress gives
  • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Monday May 08, 2017 @11:33AM (#54376925)
    I suppose some would say it's been that way for a long time.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Wrong. Corporations run the country. Comedians just work for them.

      • by WheezyJoe ( 1168567 ) <fegg AT excite DOT com> on Monday May 08, 2017 @02:01PM (#54378437)

        Wrong. Corporations run the country. Comedians just work for them.

        This comedian was simply suggesting people exercise their right to comment before rules go into force. You know, democracy, rulemaking [wikipedia.org]. Look it up.

        It's actually quite good, just nobody knows about it, except lawyers and lobbyists, I suppose because either people sleep through their high-school civics class, or your state doesn't bother even having a civics class in the curriculum because, you know, wasteful government spending teaching kids their rights as citizens and how to participate in their government. How do most kids even know they have a right to an attorney if arrested? Saw it on TV somewhere.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Well you've elected him...

    • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Monday May 08, 2017 @11:55AM (#54377211)

      Satire has for quite some time been a useful tool to highlight institutional problems and call people to action.

      • "Satire," as the old showbiz saw goes, "is what closes on Saturday night." And that's been the problem of late with so many of these late-night comedians. As they strive so desperately hard to advance a political POV, they have become less funny. Not sure how long they can maintain their required levels of audience as they provide less laughter and simultaneously turn off the section of their audience which was more right-leaning (may not have been a huge percentage, but there had to be some, and they won'
        • I find them hilarious and much more, relevant, due mainly to their incisive political commentary. Without that, they'd be nothing more than an amusing diversion and I don't have much time for that nonsense.

          • by e r ( 2847683 )
            Wait... you're seriously admitting that you let your political opinion be informed by a comedian?
            • abso-fucking-lutely. Why are you so surprised?
              Their presentations are very much fact based. I figure I'm about 1000 orders of magnitude better informed listening to the Colbert Report and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver than I would be watching Faux "News". Faux "News" after all won a lawsuit by claiming, apparently successfully, that they are entertainment and not news.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They could hardly do worse work than the politicians.

      and there would be the benefit that comedians would at least be funny occasionally when being ignorant, the politicians just seem to be able to project the image of energetic stupidity.

  • ....will use the outages as an example for why preferential channels are needed. >_>
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I really missed this. It's so difficult to find a decent BADLY DEPLOYED site these days...

  • by spiritplumber ( 1944222 ) on Monday May 08, 2017 @11:41AM (#54377029) Homepage
    You now have to go to https://www.fcc.gov/restoring-... [fcc.gov] instead.
  • by BenBoy ( 615230 ) on Monday May 08, 2017 @11:42AM (#54377037)
    Nothing, I suppose, compared to the Slashdotting to come ...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Once the bill passes they can pay internet providers to throttle traffic to the site to prevent future crashes.

  • It is useless to crash the FCC site... The judges have refused to hear further arguments. Now all that will help is to crash the congressional email servers.
  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Monday May 08, 2017 @11:48AM (#54377099)

    John Oliver Gets Fired Over Net Neutrality ...

    One word makes all the difference!

  • Relevant video: (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Monday May 08, 2017 @11:49AM (#54377125)

    You can watch the segment on youtube here. [youtube.com]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Unless you are in Canada

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 08, 2017 @11:51AM (#54377155)

    It's lovely that people are making their voices heard (literally), but in the end it's too little too late. The people with money want more of it, and you gave up what shreds of rights when you voted a Cheeto into office.

  • by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Monday May 08, 2017 @12:00PM (#54377255)

    See, if only ISPs could implement proper quality of service, the site wouldn't have gone down.

    • by rkhalloran ( 136467 ) on Monday May 08, 2017 @01:03PM (#54377883) Homepage
      The NN rules had ZERO to do with QoS traffic shaping, and *everything* to do with preventing ISPs from rent-seeking behavior against services they competed with (ref. Netflix, Hulu, vs. ISP premium/PPV offerings, wanting to charge major sites like FB, Google etc to reach their customer base, etc.). "Fast lanes" or "zero-rating" by the providers simply lets *them* pick market winners by their ability to pay for access to customers, which is NOT how the Net has traditionally worked, and will effectively strangle startups unable to pay the troll. It's anti-free-market in the extreme, which should have all these Republicans shouting it down, except for the wads of payola jammed in their mouths....
      • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

        Except that is basically not any of that. Zero rating was never really prevented by NN as implemented. The carriers found ways around it anyway. AT&T, VZ, and Comcast all can and were buying up media properties to zero-rate.

        A company should be able to offer whatever service it wants, and that includes zero-rating stuff if they think its a selling point. The problem is and always was the lack of free-market in internet service in general. The solution should not be to regulate what carriers have to

        • Exclusivity agreements, while obnoxious are not all of the problem. CA has legislated away exclusivity agreements, yet the problem still exists.

          The real issue is that providing telecoms services to houses is a natural monopoly. The only way to solve it is to require the last mile networks be available at cost to alternative providers. That's what happened in the UK and there is more competition there.

          The USA briefly required last mile access be available to competitive providers, but the dollars from teleco

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Politicians in charge do not want an open and free internet.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      unfortunately true.

      100s of millions of comments could come in, all favoring network neutrality, and the current head of fcc won't give a damn; because his job when appointed to the chairmanship by mister orange monkey himself, was to do exactly this.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Here's my favorite Trump quote [twitter.com] (a tweet), issued in response to the Women's March on Washington: "[I] was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn't these people vote?"

      That applies here too. If the Internet were so important, than surely people would have voted against Republicans in November, so that Congress could move on treating Internet access as a utility. They didn't. If anything, people voted to make the Internet more expensive and limited. So why pester the FCC about this? You a

  • Entering 17-108 or Proceeding 17-108 on the form does nothing, it gets blanked out when I try to get to the review page. Is there a secret? It was certainly a pain to figure out how to get to that form.

    • by Njorthbiatr ( 3776975 ) on Monday May 08, 2017 @12:36PM (#54377619)

      Yeah, you have to fill out the csv template they give.

      It's pretty fucking clear they want as few people as possible to be able to comment, by making technologically prohibitive to do so. It's fucking scummy as shit.

      • Yeah, you have to fill out the csv template they give.

        It's pretty fucking clear they want as few people as possible to be able to comment, by making technologically prohibitive to do so. It's fucking scummy as shit.

        The site has reverted to the previous (slightly less scummy) behavior. The gofccyourself.com URL redirection works again, and the form accepts data normally.

    • by guises ( 2423402 )
      Someone posted this [fcc.gov] link above. Putting 17-108 in the first field there worked for me.
  • Then government should get off its duff and build them.

    So long as muti-billion dollar multinational companies are building these networks, don't be surprised when they want to extract every last nickel from them.

  • Perhaps IP providers restricted the traffic to FCC site that made it crash...no? :-)

  • So I'm reading "John Oliver gets fired...."
    And I think 'Yeah!", because honestly, he's just shrill and unfunny, and his British accent on US televsion doesn't work in making him sound smart. If he and Samantha Bee had children, they would be the most deadpan unfunny creatures in the universe.
    But then I kept reading, and was disappointed.

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