Republicans to grill FCC chief on Google ‘Wi-Spy’ probe

Posted: March 30, 2011 in US News

Sara Jerome
The Hill
March 30, 2011

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski will face tough questions about his investigation into a privacy breach by Google during a House hearing on Wednesday, according to a House aide.

The aide said Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) is expected to question Genachowski on an apparently-lagging FCC probe into the infamous Google Wi-Fi data breach. The FCC probe was announced to great fanfare in November but has yet to produce any publicly available results.

During what privacy groups dubbed the “Wi-Spy” breach, Google collected and stored private data from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks, including passwords and e-mails.

The company has since apologized and boosted its privacy settings, persuading the Federal Trade Commission against fining it during a probe at that agency.

Genachowski, who is testifying Wednesday on the FCC budget, is also expected to take questions on whether the government should fund the implementation of net-neutrality rules. Republicans say the agency overstepped its authority when it passed the controversial rules last year.

Graves and Appropriations colleague Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), along with members of Energy and Commerce, led the charge to defund the rules.

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