Congressional Dems target Brian Mast for vote repealing FCC privacy rules

Internet providers can tell whether someone is searching for information on cancer or sexually transmitted diseases, where they spend time during the day, and whether they're searching online for another job.

Repealing the rules, he said, will "allow service providers to be treated fairly and consumer protection and privacy concerns to be reviewed on a level playing field".

The law, if signed by President Trump, will kill legislation that, as of now, is set to go into effect later this year.

Reuters reported that Trump plans to sign the bill to block rules preventing internet service providers from selling information about their customers' browsing habits without permission. IT experts from Knoxville's Team Logic said they believe that's a gateway for major security issues. But many consumers have little choice when it comes to their Internet provider, she said, especially in rural areas.

Aside from hackers being able to gain access to your personal information, internet service providers are making money by selling your online searches to marketing companies. Beyond these newly-passed rules, the FCC also has the authority to take action should broadband providers - or other telecom companies - commit unjust or unreasonable business practices.

Unfortunately, not all US consumers have much choice when it comes to broadband providers, especially if they want faster internet speeds, said Dane Jasper, CEO of Sonic, a small ISP that serves California.

"The administration strongly supports House passage of S.J.Res. 34", which scraps the FCC's rule on privacy of customers' of broadband services, a White House press release stated.

Of course, even without regulations the FCC theoretically can still target carriers on a case-by-case basis if they violate the Communications Act by failing to protect customers' "proprietary information".

"I want the American people to know that the FCC will work with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to ensure that consumers' online privacy is protected though a consistent and comprehensive framework", said current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, in a statement after the vote.

The resolution has been passed over to President Trump for approval. Users also can download Electronic Frontier Foundation's "HTTPS Everywhere" extension, which encrypts all website connections to your browser or users can adjust their computer's Domain Name System (DNS) to translate readable website names into a numerical Internet Protocol address.

A virtual private network, or VPN, is one option to protect your online activity.

The move would allow them to compete with the likes of Google and Facebook in the lucrative digital advertising market.

  • Zachary Reyes