Lawmakers Respond to FCC's Decision to Gut Net Neutrality And The Affects on Cybersecurity


Lawmakers and public officials are responding to the FCC’s decision to gut net neutrality today with promises of action. In the hours following the FCC hearing, officials from around the country announced lawsuits and bills intended to counter the FCC’s decision.


In New York, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that he’s leading a multi-state lawsuit to challenge the FCC’s vote, though he didn’t give further details on the suit or who would be joining him. Calling today’s decision an “illegal rollback,” he described it as giving “Big Telecom an early Christmas present.” Schneiderman has headed efforts to investigate fake net neutrality comments for the past seven months, finding that 2 million comments were posted with stolen identities. (See Source)


 Today’s FCC vote to repeal net neutrality rules could have some cybersecurity spillover. It depends, according to one cybersecurity expert, on how much internet service providers have to disclose about blocking or throttling traffic. “Less transparency on how traffic is managed at the network level might provide a benefit to bad actors because they thrive where there is less transparency,” said Harley Geiger, director of public policy at Rapid7. “It will be more difficult to protect against bad behavior through traffic patterns when those traffic patterns” are accompanied by “some opaque system,” Geiger said.

“An expert’s advice about the best ways to mitigate a cyberattack such as a DDoS attack is to throttle, block, and potentially prioritize traffic for a specific reason, all forbidden by the previous FCC chairman,” wrote the conservative think tank cybersecurity specialist. Geiger countered that there might be ways to modify the current net neutrality rules to accommodate such concerns rather than toss them out wholesale.

Source: Shanon Liao, Tim Starks

Illustration: Alex Castro, The Verge

-Allyson White, CEO Alde Security Solutions, LLC.