US Congress Passes Resolution To Repeal FCC's Online Privacy Rules

Outrage grows over Congress Internet privacy vote

Reversing the rule could, eventually, allow providers like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon to sell the browsing habits of their customers.

Last week, the Senate voted to ditch consumers' privacy rights on the internet, and yesterday the House did likewise, voting to repeal broadband privacy rules issued by the Federal Communications Commission in the final months of the Obama Administration.

President Trump is expected to sign the bill, and the White House gave its support to the resolution on Tuesday.

The Center for Democracy and Technology, however, argued that Congress "voted today to erase basic privacy protections for Americans in favor of the internet service providers' (ISPs) bottom line", calling the regulations "common-sense privacy and security protections for some of their most sensitive personal information".

Republicans and industry groups have criticised that discrepancy, calling it unfair and confusing for consumers.

The Trump-appointed chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, is a critic of the broadband privacy rules and has said he wants to roll them back.

Fight for the Future, a digital rights group that helped organize protests for net neutrality, is planning to put up billboards naming the legislators who voted to repeal. Broadband providers don't now fall under FTC jurisdiction, and advocates say it has historically been a weaker agency than the FCC. The Senate last week voted 50-48 on the same measure.

The legislative action, if enacted, will prevent the Federal Communications Commission, which framed the Obama-era protections, from re-visiting the issue.

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It would be hard for a new ISP privacy bill to pass in the Republican-controlled Congress, however.

"If S.J.Res. 34 were presented to the President, his advisors would recommend that he sign the bill into law".

FCC chairman Ajit Pai in a statement praised the decision of Congress to overturn "privacy regulations created to benefit one group of favored companies over another group of disfavored companies".

On the same page, I read another article advising that the effort to have President Trump release his tax returns has again been blocked by House Republicans.

Until now, internet providers such as AT&T, Time Warner and Comcast couldn't do this. The repeal bill frees ISPs from having to protect customers' data from hackers and thieves. Sen.

Telecom companies know a lot about what people do online because they are the gatekeepers through which people connect to the Internet.

ISPs collect data such as web browsing history, app usage and location through our internet usage. "It's just allowing internet providers to compete with the other firms who are already selling your data anyway".

A virtual private network, or VPN, is one option to protect your online activity.

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