Internet Privacy Regulations Established By Obama Administration To Be Moved By Senate
Mar 27, 2017 01:18 PM EDT
The Senate voted on Thursday to dismiss Internet privacy regulations implemented by the Obama administration. It was only last October the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed online privacy rules to deal with the advertising practices of Internet service providers.
The disapproval resolution is expected to be passed by the House in the coming weeks, as it will be sent to President Trump for final approval. Under the new Internet privacy regulations, Internet service providers such as AT&T and Verizon are required to obtain permission from customers prior to using their personal information for advertising purposes, according to The New York Times.
The Republican lawmakers have turned to the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to eliminate the Internet privacy regulations recently published by the Obama administration. The move marks the first time the upper chamber would initiate the repeal of a regulation under Trump administration.
Sen. Jeff Flake, who introduced the bill, said in a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday night, that the FCC regulations were an example of a bureaucratic power grab, according to The Hill. He said that passing the new Internet privacy regulations through CRA will convey a strong message implying that federal agencies can't always unilaterally restrict constitutional rights and expect to easily get away with it.
The Senate vote has received immediate criticism from privacy and consumer advocates such as the Public Knowledge and Free Press and ACLU while trade groups praised the move. Critics call the Internet privacy regulations too onerous and challenge the fact that service providers are exposed to stricter regulations compared to websites such as Facebook and Google, which equally collects consumer data.
Democratic Sens. Brian Schatz, Ed Markey, and Ron Wyden said the dismissal of the Obama-era Internet privacy regulations would leave consumers vulnerable. "President Trump may be outraged by fake violations of his own privacy, but every American should be alarmed by the very real violation of privacy that will result of the Republican rollback of broadband privacy protections," Markey said in a statement after the vote.