November 06, 2019

Wyden Presses FCC to Secure 5G Networks

In a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Wyden urges mandatory cybersecurity requirements for 5G networks of all wireless carriers

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to secure next-generation, 5G telephone networks against hackers, scam-artists and foreign spies.

In a letter addressed to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Wyden demanded the administration require all wireless carriers to implement improved cybersecurity measures – including upgrading encryption and authentication features – on 5G telephone networks. Wyden also pushed the FCC to mandate carriers provide consumers with adequate information to evaluate carriers’ cybersecurity efforts in order to make informed decisions.

“For decades, wireless carriers have ignored known cybersecurity vulnerabilities that foreign governments were and are still actively exploiting to target Americans. The market has failed to incentivize cybersecurity, in part because consumers have no way of comparing the cybersecurity practices of phone companies,” Wyden wrote. 

“The FCC has the authority to regulate wireless carriers and their use of the public airwaves, particularly in areas that involve public safety and national security. The FCC must stop leaving the cybersecurity of American consumers, businesses and government agencies to wireless carriers, and finally secure America’s next-generation 5G networks against interception and hacking by criminals and foreign spies,” Wyden continued.

Wyden requested a response from the FCC by December 6.

From fighting back against government surveillance to protecting consumer data against unscrupulous CEOs and hackers, Wyden has long worked to protect Americans’ privacy and personal information. In June 2018, Wyden demanded the FCC and wireless carriers work to secure the U.S. phone system after details emerged showing foreign spies and hackers attacking Americans’ phones. In October 2019, Wyden introduced the Mind Your Own Business Act, which requires radical transparency about how corporations share, sell and use consumer data and holds accountable corporations that recklessly treat Americans’ personal information.

A copy of today’s letter is available here