The FCC Doesn’t Consider Cybersecurity or Privacy Their Problem

Violet Blue, in an op-ed for Engadget:

In addition to freezing the privacy protections, Pai gutted its provisions to make ISP’s notify consumers when there’s a breach. That would’ve been nice considering Comcast’s track record. But, unfortunately for us, making breach notifications mandatory would be very expensive for companies whose priorities are their advertisers and not their customers.


Cybersecurity in communications is not the FCC’s area, Pai and O’Rielly maintain when questioned, much to the delight of broadband and telecom providers, we’re sure. In fact, O’Rielly stated that it’s not really in any rules anywhere that the FCC should be doing anything about cybersecurity, so, like, they won’t be. Pai and O’Rielly didn’t high-five after he said that. But from the way their faces twitched to smiles, like when someone tells adults that safety in their frat house isn’t technically their responsibility, they didn’t need to.

The thinking by Pai and his cohorts seems to be that the Department of Homeland Security should be responsible for cybersecurity risk oversight in the communications sector. Yes, the DHS: an organization with no regulatory authority over the commercial communications sector. Which is, you know, exactly what the FCC was created for.

The degree to which this FCC administration and Congress are prepared to go to capitulate to the demands of ISPs at the clear expense of every American is astonishing. These decisions will have long-lasting detrimental effects on Americans’ privacy and security.