Deadline for FCC Exclusivity Order, Twitter Whistleblower, Cyber Fraud Costs Nearly $4B in First Half

The FCC has set September 26 as a deadline to comply with certain restrictions on exclusivity deals in buildings.

Deadline for FCC Exclusivity Order, Twitter Whistleblower, Cyber Fraud Costs Nearly $4B in First Half
Photo of Sen. Josh Hawley taken 2022 by Gage Skidmore

August 23, 2022 – The Federal Communications Commission on Monday set a deadline of September 26 for multi-tenant building owners and service providers to comply with new restrictions on certain exclusivity contracts the commission made final earlier this year.

The commission in February approved rules banning revenue sharing arrangements between building owners and service providers – where the landlord gets a share in service provider contracts in exchange for exclusivity to serve the building. It also requires providers to disclose to tenants “in plain language” the existence of exclusive marketing arrangements; and clarify rules to allow for multiple service providers to use building wires to deliver service.

Those disclosure rules for new marketing contracts are required immediately, while disclosure of existing marketing arrangements must take effect by September 26, the commission said.

The commission said the requirements are intended to improve competition for communications services in these buildings. But advocacy group Public Knowledge has said that a comprehensive ban on all exclusivity arrangements – including exclusive marketing contracts – is required to make fair service provider competitions in these buildings.

Former Twitter security executive alleges company has serious security deficiencies

A former head of security at Twitter has blown the whistle on the company, claiming the platform’s lack of sufficient security and privacy poses a risk to the country’s national security, according to reporting from CNN and the Washington Post.

Peiter Zatko, who was fired by the company in January for performance issues, alleges that the company has major security problems that threatens users’ personal information and that some of the company’s senior executives have been trying to cover up, according to the story. A disclosure was sent to Congress and federal agencies last month, the story said.

Zatko alleges that user data is not deleted after the deletion of accounts, and company executives were not concerned about the true number of bots (fake users) on their platform.

“Mr. Zatko’s allegations and opportunistic timing appear designed to capture attention and inflict harm on Twitter, its customers and its shareholders,” said a spokesperson for the company, according to the story.

The allegations come after Elon Musk asked for a tally of the number of bot accounts on the company as a condition for his $44-billion purchase of the platform.

Research finds nearly $4 billion in losses from cyber fraud

Virtual private network provider Atlas VPN said Tuesday cyber fraud in the United States in the first half of 2022 has caused a record loss of $3.56 billion dollars.

The analysis, which is based on a database of customer fraud complaints to the Federal Trade Commission, found that imposter fraud was the most commonly reported scam, causing a loss of over $1 billion dollars in damages alone.

The data reflect a 53 percent increase in fraudulent activity compared to the same quarter last year, the report said.

“Fraudsters use global events and breaking news to entice potential investors with the promise of large rewards,” the report said. “It is vital at this time to be attentive to these types of schemes, especially with the rise of new technologies and inventions, such as [non-fungible tokens].”

Investment scams have caused a greater financial loss to citizens, as the average investment scam extracts $40,000 per person, accumulating to $1.6 billion dollars in the first half of 2022.

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