White House Defends Plan to Eliminate Obama-era Internet Privacy Rules

The House of Representatives and the Senate together voted to cancel the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policy started in the fading days of the Obama management that had not yet left its outcome.

The House voted 215-205 to reject the rule. Now the resolution to keep allowing ISP's to sell your web browsing history is awaiting President Trump's signature. Republicans in Congress have jumped on this act as a way to roll back parts of Obama's broadband privacy regulation.

ISPs have long opposed the regulations - where were first introduced late in Barack Obama's presidential tenure - on grounds that internet giants like Google and Facebook are not subject to them, making it easier for those companies to sell targeted advertisements and consumer data to the highest bidder. Those companies are under the oversight of the Federal Trade Commission, not the Federal Communications Commission.

Unfortunately VPNs typically slow down your internet speed and prevent you from using some web services, such as Netflix (which is trying to prevent people from accessing content not licensed in their home countries).

"We want people to use the Internet, to view it as a safe space to communicate with others, to express their political viewpoints, to carry out these vitally important everyday activities, and to do so without fear that the information that they share with their internet service provider will be used to harm them in some way", Laura Moy concluded.

"What we've created is confusion, and this is the way to rein in an agency that was overreaching", said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who introduced the House bill to overturn the privacy rules.

"I have a simple question: what the heck are you thinking?" Davidson, who took former Speaker of the House John Boehner's seat, joined Democrats in voting against the repeal. Cool, I look forward to purchasing the browser histories of the Congressmen who voted in favor of repeal. However, if an internet carrier decides to sell this information in violation of its own privacy policies, the company can be taken to court. CNET spotted that Cards Against Humanity creator Max Tempkin has vowed to buy the browsing history of every congressman and publish it.

"By permanently throwing out the FCC's internet Privacy Rules, Republicans voted to strip Americans of control over how their information is used by certain companies", he said in an emailed statement.

The new FCC commissioner Ajit Pai voted against the privacy order and agreed that privacy rulemaking should rest with the FTC.

The FCC, in a 3-2 vote last October, approved the rules, which were scheduled to go into effect in December 2017. The heated rhetoric on both sides, but particularly the left to paint Republican efforts as selling America overlooks the fact that privacy rules are already in place and being enforced by the FTC.

"It's something that I don't think about that often but then when I do I realize how creepy it is", said MSU student Courtney Irwin.

Critics are crying foul at the attack on the rule, saying the move by Congress will undermine privacy protections.

"I don't see any prohibitions on government as a market actor bidding for your personal data", he said. What's more, a company that has nothing to hide should have no problem with a rule that requires permission before selling personal information. Internet commerce depends on companies' abilities to draw in advertising dollars, and drawing in those dollars depends on access to user information.


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