As Trump Complains About Alleged Surveillance, Republicans Gut Internet Privacy Rules

As Trump Complains About Alleged Surveillance, Republicans Gut Internet Privacy Rules

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,,
The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, as we end today’s show
looking at the future of internet privacy, following Tuesday’s vote in the House to
allow internet providers to sell your web browsing history and other personal information. By a vote of 215 to 205, the House passed
a bill to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s landmark broadband privacy
rules established under the Obama administration. The vote will give companies like Verizon,
Comcast and AT&T more power to collect people’s sensitive data, including your internet browsing
history, as well as to sell that information. Last week, the Senate also approved the measure
in a vote largely split across party lines. President Trump is expected to sign the bill. For more, we go to Washington to speak with
Laura Moy, deputy director of the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown University
Law Center. Her new piece for The Daily Dot is titled
“Think you can protect your privacy from internet providers without FCC rules? Good luck.” Laura Moy, welcome to Democracy Now! LAURA MOY: Thanks. AMY GOODMAN: Talk about the significance of
the House vote yesterday. LAURA MOY: Right. Thank you. Thanks so much for having me on. Right. I mean, strange days in Washington. At a time when Americans overwhelmingly want
more privacy protection, yesterday the House of Representatives, as you said, voted 215
to 205 to eliminate these really important privacy rules that would protect the information
that Americans have no choice but to share with their internet service providers from
being sold or shared without their permission. So, you know, essentially, when you go online,
you have to tell your internet provider what website you want to visit, what app you want
to use, so that it knows where to route the traffic online, knows which information to
send you and where to send the information that you’re communicating. Americans pay for that service. They don’t expect that information to be
shared or used for other purposes or sold without their permission. But repealing the rules that were put in place
last October will do just that, will allow internet providers, as you said, like Comcast,
Verizon and AT&T, to share or sell that information without permission. AMY GOODMAN: So give us a concrete example
of how this would work, something you looked up, and how that’s going to make its way
to some company. LAURA MOY: Right. So, let’s say that you are browsing the
web, and you are visiting a gun auction site or a healthcare site, perhaps a site that
expresses your political viewpoints. Because you’re visiting those sites, your
internet provider gets to see that you are traveling to those sites on the web. If you’re going to to look up
a health condition, your internet provider sees that information. And now, with repeal of the rules, it is possible
that internet providers will see this as a green light to go ahead and sell that information
about you to entities that might want to use it, for example, to track you or monitor you
or just to market you related goods to the things that you’re interested in. AMY GOODMAN: So, you’re looking up something
on addiction, and then they start to target you as perhaps someone who is addicted, or
you’re afraid to start looking things up and getting vital information, because of
that very tactic. LAURA MOY: Right. Yeah, that’s exactly right. I mean, Americans absolutely need internet
connectivity in today’s modern era. You need to go online to search for a job. You need to go online to complete your education. You need to go online often to communicate
with your healthcare provider or conduct your banking. And we want people to use the internet, to
view it as a safe space to communicate with others, to express their political viewpoints,
to carry out these vitally important everyday activities, and to do so without fear that
the information that they share with their internet service provider will be used to
harm them in some way. AMY GOODMAN: Well— LAURA MOY: And—sorry, go ahead. AMY GOODMAN: Republicans argued that the FCC
overstepped its mandate, and it’s the job of the Federal Trade Commission to regulate
privacy. This is Republican Congressmember Marsha Blackburn
of Tennessee. REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN: Having two privacy cops
on the beat will create confusion within the internet ecosystem and will end up harming
consumers. Third, the FCC already has authority to enforce
privacy obligations of broadband service providers on a case-by-case basis. These broadband privacy rules are unnecessary
and are just another example of big government overreach. AMY GOODMAN: That’s Republican Congressmember
Marsha Blackburn, who, according to Vocativ, has received over half a million dollars in
campaign donations [from] internet providers, including AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. If you could respond to what she’s saying—this
should be the FTC’s area—and also the fact that the Republicans have pushed this
when President Trump is fighting against surveillance himself— LAURA MOY: Right. AMY GOODMAN: —or of himself? LAURA MOY: That’s right, yeah. So, as Representative Blackburn stated, the
Federal Trade Commission has done a lot of work on privacy over the past couple decades. Unfortunately for us, the Federal Trade Commission
does not have any authority to regulate internet service providers. So, a couple years ago, internet service was
classified as a telecommunications service, because over 4 million Americans wanted it
to be regulated as a common carrier service. And as a result, the Federal Trade Commission
does not have the authority to protect the privacy of Americans from uses by internet
providers. So, she is right that the Federal Trade Commission
has done a lot of good work on privacy, but it is not true that the Federal Trade Commission
can protect us here. And then, you mentioned, of course, that President
Trump has spoken out about surveillance or suspected surveillance of himself. This is a little bit ridiculous, because President
Trump and the Trump White House has spoken out in support of the repeal of the privacy
rule. Repeal of the privacy rule will, in addition
to giving internet providers the green light to share and sell information without consumers’
consent, might help expand mass surveillance programs, as well. AMY GOODMAN: In what way? We have 10 seconds. LAURA MOY: So, because of the way that internet
providers are required to protect information and not share it without a lawful order with
the government, if it’s classified as protected information under this rule, with repeal of
the rule, that could lead to the expansion of some of these surveillance programs. AMY GOODMAN: We have to leave it there. Laura Moy, thanks so much for joining us,
from the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown.

Danny Hutson

22 thoughts on “As Trump Complains About Alleged Surveillance, Republicans Gut Internet Privacy Rules


  2. In essence they're doing away with warrants and they're capitalising off our private life. Doesn't the Fourth Amendment protect us from laws such as this one?

  3. Thank you Republicans you have now officially killed privacy rights forever. Now EVERY PERSON'S INFORMATION WILL BE SOLD WITH NO CONSENT. PERIOD!!!

  4. Was just reading bonito Mussolini, on Wikipedia, everyone should read!!???!!!! I wonder if trump has? Check out the signature. So similar. Scary


     Here is a link to the thugs that voted in favor of this . It also shows how much each of these goons is paid off by the telecom/cable companies.

  6. Obama put a good face on this but it was still the same .Companies paid a small fine if caught selling your history or searches .Libs need to stop acting like this is some new terrible thing it was terrible when Obama expanded the patriot act

  7. Where has everybody been?… America is, and has been for some time, a surveillance state. We're being spied on by the nsa, cia, fbi, homeland "security" and various other private corporations. This is incompatible with a democracy. In other words… we don't have a representative government anymore. We have a corporatocracy that is of, by and for the rich. Wake the fuck up………

  8. Trump and all Washington politicians are fake as fuck… Trump is starting to support the NWO agenda just as I suspected ,we need to start looking up to the heavens and cry out to God for leadership .. He has opened my mind to want Christ to rule over every Goverment . Millennium reign

  9. I have a question. With this legislation, is the American Government not free to purchase this information? If it is, it seems to be a system of surveillance without need of court permission.

  10. Stop complaining folks with the new law. Do something to protect yourself now like getting your own vpn service. I got Astrill and it makes me feel better at least.

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