President Trump Dismantles Online Privacy Protections

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Today, President Trump signed a bill dismantling online privacy protections created by the Federal Communications Commission’s 2016 Broadband Privacy Order by way of the Congressional Review Act. This bill not only terminates the FCC’s privacy rules but also prevents the agency from creating similar privacy protections in the future. The bill previously passed both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

The following can be attributed to Chris Lewis, Vice President at Public Knowledge:

“With his quiet signature today, President Trump has signed away the only rules that guarantee Americans a choice in whether or not their sensitive internet information is sold or given away. This law also eliminates the requirement that broadband providers notify their customers of any hacking or security breaches.

“No longer will Americans have rules that create secure communications networks for all. Companies may promise to secure or not sell their data, but the only agency with jurisdiction over broadband providers, the FCC, is now prohibited from creating similar rules to protect consumers in the future.

“Most Americans have only one choice for high-speed broadband service, and now these broadband monopolies can set their own privacy policies, change them on a whim, or leave us with no protections at all. These companies can also force Americans to pay to preserve their online data, as some companies have posited. This potentially raises broadband prices for everyone and forces poor Americans to choose between their privacy and access to the internet -- period.

“It is now time for the American people to let the Washington establishment know that they won't tolerate this interference with their most precious personal information.”

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