Senate Votes to Repeal New Broadband Privacy Rules

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On Thursday, the United States Senate voted 50-48 along party lines to adopt a Joint Resolution repealing the FCC’s broadband privacy rules adopted last year under the Obama administration. The new broadband privacy rules replace the Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) rules currently applicable to telecommunications carriers and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers, and cover all telecommunications carriers, VoIP providers and broadband Internet access service (BIAS) providers. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced the bill stating that the FCC regulations were an example of a bureaucratic power grab. The House will consider the legislation next, and if signed by President Trump, this law would repeal the FCC’s broadband privacy framework. The FCC released a statement of FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny who assert that this legislation frustrates the FCC’s future efforts to protect the privacy of voice and broadband customers, and if the rules are overturned, will create a massive gap in consumer protection law as broadband and cable companies have no discernible privacy requirements.

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