Posted on Mar 28, 2017 by Caleb Chen

House of Representatives votes 215-205 to do away with Broadband Privacy, allow ISPs to sell your private internet history


house of representatives

“The ayes have it.” Broadband Privacy has been dealt a blow in Congress with the recent repeal of online privacy protections by the FCC with a 215-205 vote. Since the online privacy protections were voted in by the FCC in 2016, ISPs and their lobbying organizations have been donating and posturing hard to dismantle Internet privacy and bring us to this vote. The CTIA, a telecom lobbying organization, even went so far as to submit a filing claiming that web browsing history and app data usage shouldn’t be considered as “sensitive information.” This appears to be the true sentiment about your online privacy – that it isn’t private and isn’t sensitive and therefore deserves no protections.

Edit: a previous post misrepresented the vote as 232-184. The final vote count is now correct.

Broadband Privacy protections voted down by Congress

After only one hour of debate and no allowance for amendments, S.J. Res 34 passed through the House of Representatives with a majority vote of 215-205 along party lines. President Trump has signaled that he supports S.J.Res 34 and will sign it.

Opposition to the vote has been fierce. Representative Mike Pocan, vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said:

“Considering how much access providers already have to highly sensitive data, it is absolutely unacceptable for them to monetize personal information.”

Now, Americans will have no online privacy from their ISPs unless they take matters into their own hand. Rick Falkvinge, Head of Privacy at Private Internet Access, commented:

“Privacy isn’t a luxury privilege. It’s not even primarily an individual right. It’s first and foremost a collective necessity, for without it, we punish the freethinkers, the divergents, and the breakers of consensus: those we call entrepreneurs and trailblazers. Without it, our society stops dead, gray, and dull.”

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About Caleb Chen

Caleb Chen is a digital currency and privacy advocate who believes we must #KeepOurNetFree, preferably through decentralization. Caleb holds a Master's in Digital Currency from the University of Nicosia as well as a Bachelor's from the University of Virginia. He feels that the world is moving towards a better tomorrow, bit by bit by Bitcoin.


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11 Comments

  1. Menasheh

    Interesting how PIA took this full page ad against the resolution which, ultimately, they want everyone to see as a reason to buy in to PIA. Win-Win for them.

    8 months ago
    Reply
    1. Mike

      Smart marketing for a good cause.

      8 months ago
      Reply
    2. razster

      Problem is, ISP’s can throttle those using VPN’s. So you lose in a way.

      8 months ago
      Reply
  2. Viking

    Where can we find a list of the votes?

    8 months ago
    Reply
  3. Ron

    Does it state what personal information can be sold?
    I mean what if they start selling people’s account and banking details lol.

    If I was an isp in the US I’d setup new account contracts that provide encrypted traffic with no info stored on my servers and a guaranteed law binding promise that no personal info will ever be sold, and then watch everyone flog to my services

    8 months ago
    Reply
    1. Wintyr Walton

      your teen porn browsing history

      8 months ago
      Reply
  4. Kelly Taylor Schaus

    So, then, how do we take “privacy into our hands”? How can we protect ourselves?

    8 months ago
    Reply
    1. Wintyr Walton

      VPN

      8 months ago
      Reply
  5. Ampel Spinfield

    Sad. I just found out the congress voted to sell my internet, app and search history data. Their leader will not even release his tax returns. Good bye Xfinity no money from me until this matter is dealt with accordingly. Sick Sick Sick people. In the “Hell House”

    8 months ago
    Reply