Congress overturns internet privacy rules; can you still protect yourself?

Congress overturns internet privacy rules; can you still protect yourself?

The rules bar internet providers from obstructing or slowing down consumer access to web content and prohibit giving or selling access to speedy internet, essentially a "fast lane" on the web's information superhighway, to certain internet services.

The measures would remove FCC rules enacted past year that required Internet service providers, or ISPs, such as Comcast (CMCSA), Charter (CHTR), AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) to follow new rules to protect consumers' privacy.

The House voted 215-205 to reject the rule, and sent the legislation to President Donald Trump for his signature. But the vote was closer this time than previous rescind efforts, with 15 Republicans siding with Democrats in the effort to keep the rule in place.

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Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi opposed the Tuesday bill, saying "Americans shouldn't have to give up every shred of privacy when they go online".

Earlier this month, two dozen Republican senators filed a joint resolution to cancel the new privacy rules imposed on Internet service providers and to prevent the FCC from taking similar action in the future.

"This law puts us into a more traditional realm where we've been in the United States, which allows most marketers to get one bite at the apple, and if you don't like the marketing you can opt out", said Paul Luehr, co-chair of the Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice at Faegre Baker Daniels, a law firm in Minneapolis. "Experts say federal law still requires broadband providers to protect customer information - but it doesn't spell out how or what companies must do", the Associated Press reported. He and other Republicans want a different federal agency, the Federal Trade Commission, to police privacy for both broadband companies like AT&T and internet companies like Google. "Just last week, I bought underwear on the internet", he said. "He can show that he is on the side of the people by vetoing this measure".

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The resolution has been passed over to President Trump for approval.

Representative Michael Burgess, a Republican, described the rules as "duplicative regulation" on the House floor and said the repeal would "level the playing field for an increasingly anti-competitive market".

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