back to article Your mobile network broke the law by selling location data and may be fined millions... or maybe not, shrugs FCC

It’s been nearly two years since it was first revealed that US cellular networks were selling real-time location data with inadequate safeguards. Late last week, after months of political pressure, the regulator in charge, the FCC, finally revealed the results of an investigation. “I wish to inform you that the FCC’s …

  1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Meteore, smoking glassy crater, pretty please...

    Dear Cthulhu, the Flying Spaghettie Monster, the Invisible Pink Unicorn, & every other god of cosmic retribution.

    Please drop a large meteore on the heads of all the poopyheads in positions of power that are clearly in need of a spanking. They refuse to learn, they refuse to listen, so please refuse them the ability to continue wasting our oxygen.

    Thank you.

    *Deep sigh*

    I want off this rock... =-|

    1. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Meteore, smoking glassy crater, pretty please...

      @ShadowSystems:

      You and me both. I've had moments recently where I actually wish I had not read some of the books, both factual and fictional, that I have read in my youth. It would grace me with sufficient ignorance to not recognise the demise that is running us down.

  2. DanceMan

    Alice in Wonderland

    We've gone down the rabbit hole and down is up. And the powers that currently be keep telling us that down IS up. And half the populace agrees with them.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ugh.

    This is ridiculous.

    I want Tom back. So badly.

    This current guy is a limp noodle with wireless strings and a "can you hear me meow" voicebox.

    1. GnuTzu Silver badge

      Re: Ugh.

      "strings" yes... puppets of the duocracy.

  4. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Pssst, Vladimir.

    Want to buy a list of people who pull into the CIA parking lot every morning at 8:45?

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Pssst, Vladimir.

      What he really wants is real-time information about where they are when they are not in the parking lot. He almost certainly received that information.

  5. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
    Joke

    WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE IT ABOUT POLITICS!?

    I COME TO TEH REGISTRE TO READ ABOUT TEKNOLOGY NOT POLTICS! WHY YOU HAVE TO BE SO MEAN ABOUT PERSIDENT TURMP (MY LIFE FOR HIM)? I AM CANCLING MY SUBSCIRPTION!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Re: WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE IT ABOUT POLITICS!?

      Have an upvote for the snarkgasm, and for using the joke icon.

    2. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

      Re: WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE IT ABOUT POLITICS!?

      Donald, is that you?

      1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

        Re: WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE IT ABOUT POLITICS!?

        "Donald, is that you?"

        Absolutely not! It's publicist John Baron, who is totally NOT anyone named Donald!!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE IT ABOUT POLITICS!?

        Cofeve

    3. Kane Silver badge
      Go

      Re: WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE IT ABOUT POLITICS!?

      S L O W C L A P

    4. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE IT ABOUT POLITICS!?

      T.W.

      Excellent work. I seriously though B.B. had shown up for a moment. Either him or his offspring == the one with 7 in the nick.

  6. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

    Answers below

    I talked to a friend of mine over at the FCC about your questions, and he had this to say:

    We asked the FCC:

    * Why it feels unable to say the number of mobile operators that have broken the law

    Because it's all of them, and that's super awkward.

    * What steps remain for the sale of location data to be deemed an actual violation – as opposed to an “apparent violation” – and who makes that determination

    Determination is made by Idjit Pie himself, of course, and no steps remain--it ain't happening.

    Whether the FCC investigation has been completed or if it waiting on feedback from the mobile operators

    * If be "feedback," you mean "the check," then they're still waiting, but hopefully not for long.

    What the precedents are for similar violations

    * There are no known precedents of a corrupt band of mafiya thugs holding the White House . . .

    Whether there will be a fine and how it will be calculated

    * If by "fine," you mean "campaign donation to the President," yes, and it depends on how willing the CEOs are to kiss orange gibbony ass.

    Whether other measures will be considered against the mobile operators

    The providers have to pinky swear that they won't do it again or they'll be on Double Secret Probation. Spankings may be involved--but wait, I've said too much.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Answers below

      Spankings may be involved--but wait, I've said too much.

      Given the nature of those involved, they might enjoy the punishment.

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Answers below

      they'll be on Double Secret Probation

      Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son

    3. Mike 16 Silver badge

      The check is in the email

      Unfortunately, email service to FCC accounts receivable is via an "unlimited data" account that gradually throttles rate, and is currently running at 45.45 baud. Since the check itself is one of those 3x12 ft checks often shown off by politicians and "philanthropists" to show their dedication to all things wonderful, and is being sent as a 4K dots/inch uncompressed ,BMP file, it _may_ arrive before the 2020 election, and may encounter an unfortunate error that requires complete retransmission.

  7. A random security guy

    The FCC: an industry weapon to smother citizens

    Ajit Pai has been installed to do everything to disarm the civilians. He probably looks at the Chinese system with envy. Are we still the land of the free?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The FCC: an industry weapon to smother citizens

      One Nation Under Surveillance.

  8. LDS Silver badge

    "FCC’s Enforcement Bureau has completed its extensive investigation"

    So extensive they could not determine if telcos violated the law or not?

    "Apparently", someone can't do its job....

  9. bronskimac

    Surely at some point the politicians are going to do something about that man? My bad, that would upset their donors/owners.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No more fines

    Jail time only. Fines do not deter corporate crimes.

  11. I am David Jones
    Holmes

    Hmmm

    But, notably, the promise is not binding and can be lifted at any time.

    So not a promise then.

  12. Big Al 23

    Truth is stranger than fiction

    Isn't the FCC, FTC and SEC entrusted with protecting the populace from criminals? If so then they have failed badly.

  13. TimMaher Bronze badge
    WTF?

    Offences in the Untied States.

    If this is a federal level, criminal, offence; shouldn’t the FBI be investigating?

    I ask as an East Pondian.

  14. Greybeard_ITGuy
    Big Brother

    History will continue to repeat

    The FCC will simply wait until the next news cycle and quietly ignore the problem. The Orwellian powers that be want this, so it will remain the same until the sheep wake up and take notice.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020