When the FCC announced its intention to kill Network Neutrality, it had to accept public comments, and what followed was bizarre even by Trump-era standards: first, millions of living, breathing Americans sent so many pro-Net Neutrality comments to the FCC that the website crashed; then bots spammed the FCC with millions of obviously fake anti-Neutrality comments, stealing the identities of real Americans (including two US Senators!) to do so; despite the overwhelming evidence that humans loved Net Neutrality and bots hated it, the FCC declared that it would give the bot comments equal weight with the human ones; and then it stopped accepting comments, claiming that its website had been hacked.
No one seriously believed the FCC's hackers-ate-my-homework excuse, especially after the FCC refused to cooperate with law-enforcement agencies who wanted to investigate the supposed attack and stonewalling Congress on the details.
It was such radioactively obvious bullshit that the Government Accountability Office was summoned to investigate it. Now, days before the GAO is due to report its findings, Trump FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has come clean, admitting that the hack never, ever happened.
Pai says he's as much of a victim as anyone, because he trusted his CIO, David Bray, an Obama appointee who has since departed. Pai claims that the forthcoming GAO report exonerates him of any complicity in the lie, which remains to be seen -- it's a hard claim to take seriously, given that virtually everyone who looked into the matter (with the possible exceptions of David Bray and Ajit Pai) knew that it was all bullshit.
I am deeply disappointed that the FCC’s former [CIO], who was hired by the prior Administration and is no longer with the Commission, provided inaccurate information about this incident to me, my office, Congress, and the American people. This is completely unacceptable. I’m also disappointed that some working under the former CIO apparently either disagreed with the information that he was presenting or had questions about it, yet didn’t feel comfortable communicating their concerns to me or my office.
On the other hand, I’m pleased that this report debunks the conspiracy theory that my office or I had any knowledge that the information provided by the former CIO was inaccurate and was allowing that inaccurate information to be disseminated for political purposes.
FCC admits it was never actually hacked [Devin Coldewey/Tech Crunch]