Congress Poised to Obliterate Broadband Privacy Rules, by Lauren McCauley

A user’s data collected by broadband companies should be the user’s property, to be sold or kept private as the user sees fit. That is how current FCC rules treat user data, but they may be about to change. From Lauren McCauley at theantimedia.org:

Privacy advocates on Monday are urging Americans to call their elected officials, warning that there are only 24 hours left to “save online privacy rules” before the U.S. House of Representatives votes on a measure that would allow major telecom companies to collect user data and auction it off to the “highest bidder.”

Wasting no time, the House is expected to begin debate late Monday on S.J. Res. 34, a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to repeal the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) privacy provision, implemented under former President Barack Obama, which requires that providers such as Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon get a user’s permission before collecting or selling sensitive data.

As Common Dreams reported, 50 Republican senators voted to advance the resolution last week.

“We are one vote away from a world where your [Internet Service Providers or ISP] can track your every move online and sell that information to the highest bidder,” Kate Tummarello, policy analyst for the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF), said Monday.

Explaining how the FCC’s “commonsense” rules would have prevented ISPs from doing a “host of creepy things,” Tummarello wrote: “Those rules were a huge victory for consumers. Of course, the ISPs that stand to make money off of violating your privacy have been lobbying Congress to repeal those rules. Unfortunately, their anti-consumer push has been working.”

Meanwhile, the opposition is responding with a campaign of its own to pressure lawmakers—said to be in the pocket of the telecom industry—to protect #broadbandprivacy.

On Monday, the grassroots advocacy Fight for the Future announced that it will unleash billboards in Washington, D.C. and other select districts exposing any Congress member who votes to gut internet privacy rules.

To continue reading: Congress Poised to Obliterate Broadband Privacy Rules

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