Need for Federal Privacy Law, North Carolina BEAD Proposal, Lumen Partners with DOD

Frank Pallone wants national privacy legislation in light of military data broker reports.

Need for Federal Privacy Law, North Carolina BEAD Proposal, Lumen Partners with DOD
Congressman Frank Pallone from New America, taken 2017, permission.

November 7, 2023 – Congressman Frank Pallone, D-New Jersey, said a recent finding that data brokers were selling data on U.S. military personnel is another reason to pass national privacy legislation.

“These findings are yet another terrible example of the harms posed by the data broker industry and underscore the need to pass comprehensive national privacy legislation and regulate data brokers,” said Pallone said in a statement Monday.

The report published by the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy earlier this month looked into what kind of information was being gathered by data brokers on military individuals and assessed the risk of a foreign entity being able to acquire that information.

It concluded that health, financial and family data about individuals in the military was being mined in an inconsistent and unregulated manner, which the research team was able to locate and purchase for $0.12 per record.

The report added that because this information is easy to obtain it could hypothetically be used to target active-duty military personnel, veterans and family members of such.

Pallone urged Congress to pass legislation to regulate data mining and prevent data collection from harming citizens.

Lawmakers have said earlier this year they are prioritizing the passing of federal privacy legislation after a version of such a law failed to pass before mid-terms last year.

North Carolina announces initial BEAD proposal

The North Carolina Department of Information Technology’s Division of Broadband and Digital Equity published its initial proposal Monday outlining how it will use the $1.5 billion the state was allocated through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program.

The published draft has two volumes which both detail how the state will select a mixture of projects to receive BEAD funding with the overarching goal of tackling digital equity, workforce development and assisting underrepresented groups by deploying BEAD funding.

The volumes address factors that would go into these decisions, such as current broadband funding the state has, alongside long term deployment objectives, and local, tribal and regional broadband planning processes.

As a long-term goal, North Carolina hopes to deliver high speed internet to 98 percent of its unserved households, while using BEAD money to build out the remainder of infrastructure needed to deliver high speed internet to the remaining unserved and underserved communities.

The state also seeks to invest nearly $50 million to support digital literacy, while also planning to put just over $1.4 million into programs that aim to increase high-speed internet adoption.

Lumen partners with DOD for fibre services

Telecom Lumen Technologies announced Tuesday that it has entered into a $110-million contract with the Department of Defense to provide network services to the Defense Information Systems Agency.

The contract, which is an extension of an existing DISA-Lumen contract, will require Lumen to operate and maintain the DISA’s fiber network service colocation facilities, dark fiber, end-to-end network infrastructure and provide system updates, according to a press release.

“DISA leverages the Lumen network’s strength, diversity and resiliency to achieve its mission of connecting and protecting America’s service men and women who help defend our nation,” said Jason Schulman, Lumen’s national vice president of federal sales.

Lumen will fulfill its contractual obligations to the DOD over a five-year period starting on November 30 this year and ending on September 30, 2028.

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