FCC Forms Task Force to Look Into Proposed T-Mobile–Sprint Merger

Today’s topics include the federal government beginning work on the proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger, and Gentoo Linux reporting a GitHub hack.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has named David Lawrence, a former Justice Department antitrust lawyer, to head the task force that will coordinate the agency’s review of T-Mobile’s and Sprint’s plans to merge.

The appointment of Lawrence marks a major step in the FCC’s progress in considering the proposed merger and is the first step in the FCC’s self-imposed 180-day clock to process the approval. However, that doesn’t mean that the merger will be approved or denied in that period of time, because that clock can be stopped or even moved backward depending on events.

Meanwhile, the heads of Sprint and T-Mobile appeared before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary in a hearing titled “Game of Phones,” where they made their case to members of the committee.

Gentoo Linux reported on June 28 that its GitHub repository was breached, with attackers planting malicious code in the open-source Linux project's account. Gentoo Linux is a popular open-source, community-based Linux distribution that works on a rolling release model that is continuously updated.

The malware that was found on the Gentoo Linux GitHub project site was designed to specifically remove all of the files on a victim's system, and the root cause of the attack appears to be a compromised account that has now been locked out.

In response to the attack, Gentoo developers have locked down the GitHub project to prevent further damage. Gentoo is now going through the process of re-adding developers to its GitHub account and is requiring that all developers add two-factor authentication to their GitHub accounts to be re-admitted.