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U.S. Senate Voted to Eliminate Broadband Privacy Rules

"The US Senate today voted to eliminate broadband privacy rules that would have required ISPs to get consumers' explicit consent before selling or sharing Web browsing data and other private information with advertisers and other companies," Jon Brodkin reporting in Ars Technica. "The rules were approved in October 2016 by the Federal Communications Commission's then-Democratic leadership, but are opposed by the FCC's new Republican majority and Republicans in Congress. ... Democrats and consumer advocates are furious. The acronym 'ISP' now stands for 'information sold for profit,' and 'invading subscriber privacy,' rather than 'Internet service providers.'"

Kate Tummarello, reporting in EFF: "ISPs have been lobbying for weeks to get lawmakers to repeal the FCC's rules that stand between them and using even creepier ways to track and profit off of your every move online. Republicans in the Senate just voted 50-48 (with two absent votes) to approve a Congressional Review Action resolution from Sen. Jeff Flake which — if it makes it through the House — would not only roll back the FCC's rules but also prevent the FCC from writing similar rules in the future. ... Speak up now to keep the House from doing the same thing."

"But critics of the rules say they are expensive to ISPs and subject them to tough privacy regulations not imposed on web-based companies like Google and Facebook. ... The FCC rules are confusing and costly and 'make the internet an uneven playing field,' said Senator Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican and Senate majority leader." –Grant Gross, Senior Editor reporting from IDG News Service

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