House Dems launch pro-broadband privacy petition

House Dems launch pro-broadband privacy petition

Democratic Reps. Michael Capuano (Mass.) and Mike Doyle (Pa.) launched a petition Wednesday to block congressional action that would get rid of consumer broadband privacy protections.

The petition — hosted on Whitehouse.gov — asks the government not to “let Internet providers spy and sell our online data” and to “please keep the FCC's Privacy Rules” in place. 

The House passed on Tuesday a bill via the Congressional Review Act — a maneuver used to nix regulations enacted just before administrations switch — to get rid of the Federal Communications Commission broadband privacy rules. The Senate passed the CRA bill earlier in the week, and the resolution is now headed to the White House.

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE is expected to sign the bill, and the White House gave its support to the resolution on Tuesday. But during a White House press briefing, Sean Spicer declined to comment on the resolution, directing reporters to the White House website.

The rules, approved at the end of 2016, would have prevented broadband providers from selling “sensitive” user information such as app usage data and web browsing history to third parties.

“Other laws block the FTC from enacting any rules on ISPs,” the lawmakers' petition reads. “Consumers would have no privacy rules. We want better privacy protections like the FCC rules, not more loopholes.”

The reclassification of broadband providers as common carrier in the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order, gives the FCC the jurisdiction to regulate broadband providers, taking this power away from the FTC. If the bill goes into law, the FCC can’t implement any similar rules.