Senate votes to gut broadband privacy rules
Statement from digital rights group Fight for the Future on Senate use of Congressional Review Act to sell Internet users’ personal information to the highest bidder
Today, the U.S. Senate voted to use the Congressional Review Act to gut the FCC’s broadband privacy rules that prevent Internet Service Providers like COmcast and Verizon from selling their customer’s personal information to advertisers without permission. Fight for the Future, a leading digital rights group that played an instrumental role in securing the FCC rules last year, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to campaign director, Evan Greer (pronouns: she/her):
“Today, 50 members of the U.S. Senate voted to sell their constituents most personal information to the highest bidder.
They used a blatantly undemocratic Congressional procedure to gut basic protections that prevent Internet Service Providers like Comcast and Verizon from selling their customers personal information to marketers without their permission.
These lawmakers -- many of whom accept large campaign contributions from the industry groups who lobbied for this move -- should be ashamed that they allowed partisan politics and corporate corruption to strip Internet users of our right to use the web safely and privately.
The controversial measure passed by a narrow margin. This is evidence that many members of Congress are still scared of angering the Internet. And they should be. Internet users are increasingly aware of how legislation and FCC rules impact our basic rights, and we are prepared to fight to defend them.
The Senators who voted today to sell out their constituents privacy will soon learn that the money they get from Cable companies can’t buy back our trust.”
By using the CRA to gut the FCC broadband privacy rules, Senators voted to allow ISPs to:
- Monitor and sell all your location data, search history, app usage, and browsing habits to advertisers without your permission
- Hijack your search results, redirecting your traffic to paying third parties
- Insert ads into web pages that would otherwise not have them
Fight for the Future was instrumental in the massive grassroots campaign that successfully pushed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to enact the strongest net neutrality protections in US. history last year. They built the page BattleForTheNet.com, which was responsible for more than ¼ of all the net neutrality comments received by the FCC during its feedback process, and were behind the Internet Slowdown protest, which was supported by more than 40,000 websites including some of the largest on the Web like Kickstarter, Etsy, Netflix, and Tumblr.
Fight for the Future is best known for their role in the massive online protests against SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, and continues to organize many of the largest protests in the history of the Internet. Over the summer, they organized the high profile Rock Against the TPP tour featuring many celebrities and well known musicians. Learn more at FightFortheFuture.org