[ETA: The “Monopoly Man” hero is Public Citizen’s Amanda Werner, who uses they/them pronouns. The article has been updated to reflect that and I apologize for the initial mistake. -VK]
The internet has a new hero today, and it’s the mystery person who attended now-former Equifax CEO Richard Smith’s Congressional hearing dressed as the Monopoly Man, monocle and all. We don’t know you, but we thank you for the gift you have given us.
The Equifax data breach compromised the sensitive information–like social security numbers and birthdates–of up to 145.5 million people, and Smith was brought in to explain exactly how that happened. According to him, it was the fault of one lone IT guy, but even if that’s true and not a blatantly pathetic attempt at scapegoating, no one’s feeling very forgiving towards Smith and his colleagues. Especially not after it was revealed that the company knew about the breach weeks before it was revealed to the public, and that numerous executives sold their stock before the news came out. (They claim they didn’t know about the breach at the time.) And definitely not after the IRS granted Equifax a $7.25 million contract for fraud prevention, EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE THE ONES WHO CAUSED THIS MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE.
At his hearing, Smith was subjected to savage shaming from both sides of the aisle. Republican Rep. Greg Walden said “It’s like the guards at Fort Knox forgot to lock the doors and failed to notice the thieves were emptying the vaults,” and also pointed out how hard this will be to fix because “I don’t think we can pass a law that fixes stupid.”
But the real star of the hearing was the person dressed as the Monopoly man, aka Rich Uncle Pennybags, who positioned themself right behind Smith and listened intently, twirling his moustache and adjusting his monocle.
Sometimes they seems concerned or even downright shocked by what they’re hearing.
The activist group Public Citizen has claimed responsibility for the brilliant idea.
It does make sense that Pennybags would be here, supporting his friend in his time of need. Those opportunistic, bloodsucking tycoons have to stick together.
(via Twitter, image: screengrab)
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