Sens. Rubio, Warner Call for OPM Chief Ouster

There was a bipartisan call from Capitol Hill Thursday for the ouster of the director of the Office of Personnel Management following the revelation that 21 million more people had their sensitive personal information stolen in a data breach, bringing the total to over 25 million.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)-- a member of the Communications Subcommittee--and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), a former telecom exec, both issued statements on the breach and the need for accountability.

“The technological and security failures at the Office of Personnel Management predate this director’s term, but Director [Katherine] Archuleta’s slow and uneven response has not inspired confidence that she is the right person to manage OPM through this crisis," Warner said in a statement. "It is time for her to step down, and I strongly urge the administration to choose new management with proven abilities to address a crisis of this magnitude with an appropriate sense of urgency and accountability.”

Thursday, Warner and other legislators from Virginia and Maryland, home to many of the federal workers whose information was stolen, introduced the RECOVER (Reducing the Effects of the Cyberattack on OPM Victims Emergency Response) Act, which would expand identify theft coverage for federal workers and others affected by the breaches, including lifetime credit monitoring and at least $5 million apiece in identity theft insurance.

Warner has also called on the IRS to help protect them from tax-related identity theft.

Rubio, who is dividing his time between the Senate and a race for the White House,

"OPM officials need to be held accountable and fired for what appears to be utter incompetence," said Rubio in a statement. "While it is completely unacceptable that our federal databases containing such massive amounts of personal information on federal employees could be so vulnerable in the first place, it’s even more infuriating that this data was hacked seven months ago and the American people are only now being informed about it...The American people, starting with the people who have had their data breached, deserve more candor, transparency and urgency from the Obama Administration. They’ve been sitting on this reality for seven months. People need to go, starting with the OPM director.”

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.