Ajit Pai Refuses to Brief Lawmakers Over Phone-Tracking Scandal, Dubiously Blames Shutdown gizmodo.com

Dell Cameron, Gizmodo:

In a letter to the FCC chairman last week, [Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr.] said it was paramount his committee investigate the matter at once and that it could not wait “until President Trump decides to reopen the government.” However, committee members said on Monday that Pai had declined to brief them citing the shutdown, while asserting (in Pallone’s words) that the matter was “not a threat to the safety of human life or property.”

Neither Pai nor his chief of staff, Matthew Berry, placed the call notifying Pallone’s office of his refusal, according to a senior Democratic aide, who said the news came instead from a lower-level staffer.

Pallone responded to Pai’s decision in a statement, saying, “There’s nothing in the law that should stop the Chairman personally from meeting about this serious threat that could allow criminals to track the location of police officers on patrol, victims of domestic abuse, or foreign adversaries to track military personnel on American soil.”

American telecom companies must be thrilled to have a key regulator who has no sense of urgency to do his job, nor any compulsion to hold their feet to the fire.