Comcast announces huge data breach after Ted Cruz dismisses data security

On Monday, Comcast sent notices out saying that hackers had obtained access to the personal data of almost 36 million of its customers. According to Comcast, the “suspicious activity” took place between Oct. 16 and Oct. 19, wasn’t noticed by the big telecom until Oct. 25, and took another eight weeks for them to review. A statement released to media outlets from an Xfinity spokesperson claims, “We are not aware of any customer data being leaked anywhere, nor of any attacks on our customers.”

The timing could not have been more perfect as less than a week earlier, Sen. Ted Cruz and fellow Republican senators were publicly fighting against the Biden administration’s attempts to create more transparency and accountability by big telecommunications companies. On Dec. 12, Cruz, along with Sens. Mitch McConnell, John Thune, and Marsha Blackburn, sent an angry letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.

The right-wing senators claim that the FCC’s newly proposed “Data Breach Reporting Requirements” violates the Congressional Review Act. The CRA effectively killed an Obama-era attempt at very modest broadband privacy protections back in 2017. It passed along strict party lines in a Republican-led Congress.

According to Cruz and his team of shills’ letter:

The FCC is now seeking to resurrect a portion of the 2016 Broadband Privacy Order pertaining to data security. This is clearly unlawful: the FCC’s proposed rules in the Report and Order are clearly “substantially similar” to the nullified 2016 rules. Specifically, the requirements in the Report and Order governing notification to the FCC, law enforcement, and consumers, as well as the recordkeeping requirements with respect to breaches and notifications, are substantially similar to the notification and recordkeeping requirements disapproved by Congress.

The FCC, anticipating this argument, wrote in its proposal:

We conclude that it would be erroneous to construe the resolution of disapproval as applying to anything other than all of the rule revisions, as a whole, adopted as part of the 2016 Privacy Order. That resolution had the effect of nullifying each and every provision of the 2016 Privacy Order—each part being, under the APA [Administrative Procedure Act], “a rule”—but not “the rule” specified in the resolution of disapproval. By its terms, the CRA does not prohibit the adoption of a rule that is merely substantially similar to a limited portion of the disapproved rule or one that is the same as individual pieces of the disapproved rule.

Three days after Cruz’s letter, which promotes the continued shielding of big telecoms from accountability to Americans, Sens. Ted Cruz and John Thune sent another letter to the FCC attacking the Affordable Connectivity Program. The ACP helps subsidize low-income families’ broadband access. Their argument? This program helping Americans needs to be more accountable and transparent.

You don’t need to be a mathematician to know those two positions don’t add up to anything more than big business corruption.

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It’s our last episode of the year and we wanted to talk about what we are thankful for. It turns out that Republican disarray and ineptitude topped our list. Join us to count the ways!


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