Senate Dem blasts GOP for trying to repeal broadband privacy rules

Senate Dem blasts GOP for trying to repeal broadband privacy rules
© Greg Nash

Sen. Edward MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeySenate Democrats introduce bill to block Trump's refugee ban FCC votes to limit program funding internet access for low-income communities Two GOP senators oppose Trump’s EPA chemical safety nominee MORE (D-Mass.) called out Republicans on Thursday for trying to undo the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) broadband privacy rules that passed late last year.

The broadband privacy rules, which were passed in October under former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, require service providers to obtain consumers' permission to use certain information.
 
“Big broadband companies want to mine and sell consumers’ most sensitive personal information without any consent," Markey, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, said in a statement. "Overturning broadband privacy protections is nothing more than Big Broadband’s way of pumping up its profits and undermining consumer rights."
 
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Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSpokesman: Flake’s vote on tax reform will have nothing to do with Trump Trump slams Flake over hot-mic comments: Senator's career is 'toast' Bannon: McConnell 'picking up his game' because of our 'insurgent movement' MORE (R-Ariz.) revealed this week that he would be introducing a resolution to repeal the rules under authority granted by the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which allows Congress, with presidential approval, to repeal agency regulations before they go into effect.
 
“The FCC’s midnight regulation does nothing to protect consumer privacy," Flake said in a statement. "It is unnecessary, confusing and adds yet another innovation-stifling regulation to the internet. My legislation is the first step toward restoring the [Federal Trade Commission's] light-touch, consumer-friendly approach. It will not change or lessen existing consumer privacy protections."
 
Republicans and the telecom industry have taken a hard line against the rules, which were passed under the authority that the FCC gained with the Open Internet Order that enshrined net neutrality as law.
 
Using the CRA to repeal the broadband rule would also prohibit the FCC from implementing similar rules in the future.
 
"Without the FCC’s broadband privacy rule, broadband providers will be able to sell dossiers of the personal and professional lives of their subscribers to the highest bidder without their consent," said Markey. "I will oppose any efforts to roll back important broadband privacy rules either by Congress or at the FCC.”