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FCC Rules: Privacy Problem or Regulatory Ruse?

by Countable | 3.28.17

A bill before the House of Representatives would cancel privacy regulations passed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under its previous Democratic majority. The current FCC rule blocks broadband internet service providers from sharing or selling a consumer’s internet history without that person’s explicit consent. Lobbyists, activists and citizens have lined-up on both sides of this debate.

The House vote — scheduled for Tuesday, March 28th — is the final step before this bill reaches President Donald Trump’s desk. It passed the Senate last week on a party-line, 50-48 vote, and would block the FCC from issuing a similar rule without the approval of Congress.

Supporters of this bill include trade-groups and ISPs, who say current regulations already protect consumers’ privacy in this arena. A joint statement from trade-groups representing American advertising agencies called the current FCC rule a "new, costly, counterproductive, confusing and unnecessary regulatory regime." The statement continued, “Our digital economy is the global leader… and the innovation and investment that have driven its success have rested on robust, consistent self-regulatory standards."

Those who oppose the bill, lead by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) say it is the work of "big broadband barons and their Republican allies." Markey warned that blocking the FCC rule would leave people with no ability to stop ISPs from “invading their privacy and selling sensitive information about their health, finances, and children to advertisers, insurers, data brokers and others who can profit off of this personal information…”

What do you think? Tell your Representatives!


Have questions about politics? Let us know! Send us an email and you could see your answer in a future post.

— Andrea Seabrook

(Photo Credit: Tmthetom / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(2,318)
  • Lauren
    03/29/2017
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    Do NOT let this bill pass. Issues such as this are single handedly pulling me away from the GOP. For a party who values privacy, basic freedoms, and choice, this bill is a complete 180. I will never vote Republican again if this passes. Let the people have a choice and protect our basic freedoms.

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  • Penny
    03/29/2017
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    Please don't compromise my personal information by passing this bill!

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  • Alexander
    03/29/2017
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    I was a supporter of most of your ideals at some point but in the last 8 weeks you have made it clear that your loyalty is not to us (your constituents) since the overwhelming majority of us have asked to to vote nay to this and you did not listened. We will have to start speaking the language that you care about on November of 2018. You have almost no chance of winning my vote again. At least you will have medical insurance after your done in the House next November. Thanks for nothing!

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  • Wesley
    03/28/2017
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    I have a right to my privacy.

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  • Carter
    03/28/2017
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    Do not let big business further infringe upon our rights. It is criminal.

    Like (9)
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  • Lawrence
    03/28/2017
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    Why are we having to argue to keep our personal information private?

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  • Jennifer
    03/28/2017
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    Please maintain our privacy. We can opt out of using Google or Facebook, but we can't opt out of an ISP if we want to be online. Vote against repeal.

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  • Caroline
    03/30/2017
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    "Cards Against Humanity" creator just pledged to buy and publish Congress's browser history. 😊

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  • Nicolle
    03/28/2017
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    This is ridiculous! Our privacy should not even be in question.

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  • Christopher
    03/28/2017
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    This proposition is absolutely ludicrous. This is a direct invasion of privacy and is nothing but exploitation. Vote No, or I certainly will not be voting for you again.

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  • Amy
    03/28/2017
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    If you vote yes on this bill, I expect an immediate public release of all communications between the Trump campaign team/administrationand Russia.

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  • Martin
    03/30/2017
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    Fyi...It has been reported the Representative Ed Royce has taken $14,000 from Comcast to vote yes on the internet usage data bill. Not ok. Royce just sold my personal information for $14,000. I will be actively campaigning for his removal of office in the next election cycle. And I'm not going to be nice about it, either.

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  • PLD
    03/30/2017
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    I've already pledged to a Crowdfunding effort to purchase and publish the private information of every person who supported the bill to safeguard my internet privacy. I suggested with my financial contribution that McConnell and Ryan information be first published. If Congress doesn't care about our information, we shouldn't care to safeguard their's!!!!

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  • Michele
    03/29/2017
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    Please oppose this bill- protect our privacy

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  • Leslie
    03/28/2017
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    Are we seriously having another of these conversations? This is a violation of the most basic and fundamental right of Americans...the right to privacy. My internet provider does not need to share this information with anyone: no person or company! I get potential telemarketers calling my cell phone at least 3-4 times a day, even on the Do Not Call list (which is a joke). Do not vote for this bill!!!

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  • Christopher
    03/28/2017
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    Protect internet privacy, enough coddling of corporate America. Vote NO.

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  • John
    03/28/2017
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    How is this even up for debate? VOTE NO.

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  • Wade
    03/28/2017
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    Our privacy needs to be protected! Please vote against this legislation. Thank you!

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  • Jeff
    03/28/2017
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    Please do not vote to release the public's information.

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  • Karen
    03/28/2017
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    Please vote no on this insane invasion of privacy!

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