Type to search

Trump Signs Repeal Of U.S. Broadband Privacy Rules

Business Congress Economy Headlines Media Politics Reuters Technology White House

Trump Signs Repeal Of U.S. Broadband Privacy Rules

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the East Room of the White House in Washington

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday signed a repeal of Obama-era broadband privacy rules, the White House said, a victory for internet service providers and a blow to privacy advocates.

Republicans in Congress last week narrowly passed the repeal of the privacy rules with no Democratic support and over the strong objections of privacy advocates.

The signing, disclosed in White House statement late on Monday, follows strong criticism of the bill, which is a win for AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc.

The bill repeals regulations adopted in October by the Federal Communications Commission under the Obama administration requiring internet service providers to do more to protect customers’ broadband privacy than websites like Alphabet Inc’s Google or Facebook Inc.

The rules had not yet taken effect but would have required internet providers to obtain consumer consent before using precise geolocation, financial information, health information, children’s information and web browsing history for advertising and marketing.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai praised the repeal in a statement late on Monday for having “appropriately invalidated one part of the Obama-era plan for regulating the internet.” Those flawed privacy rules, which never went into effect, were designed to benefit one group of favored companies, not online consumers.”

Pai said the FCC would work with the Federal Trade Commission, which oversees websites, to restore the “FTC’s authority to police internet service providers’ broadband privacy practices.”

Republican FCC commissioners have said the Obama rules would unfairly give websites the ability to harvest more data than internet service providers.

The action is the latest in a string of reversals of Obama administration rules. On Monday, the FCC reversed a requirement that Charter Communications Inc extend broadband service to 1 million homes that already have a high-speed provider.

On Friday, Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T Inc. said they would voluntarily not sell customers’ individual internet browsing information.

Verizon does not sell personal web browsing histories and has no plans to do so but the company said it has two advertising programs that use “de-identified” customer browsing data, including one that uses “aggregate insights that might be useful for advertisers and other businesses.”

The American Civil Liberties Union said last month Congress should have opposed “industry pressure to put profits over privacy” and added “most Americans believe that their sensitive internet information should be closely guarded.”

Trade group USTelecom Chief Executive Jonathan Spalter in a statement praised Trump for “stopping rules that would have created a confusing and conflicting consumer privacy framework.”

Last week, 46 Senate Democrats urged Trump not to sign the bill, arguing most Americans “believe that their private information should be just that.”

Republicans later this year are expected to move to overturn net neutrality provisions that in 2015 reclassified broadband providers and treated them like a public utility – a move that is expected to spark an even bigger fight.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Bill Trott)

IMAGE: President Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts



  1. firstandlastword April 4, 2017

    I’m certain there is some backstory of corporate gangsters and politicians playing favorites that motivates this potential raping and pillage of consumer rights to privacy; that said, this one among many reversals of Obama era regulations fits into Trump’s passionate desire to put Obama ‘back into the womb’ if only he could.

    And lastly, if this reversal was necessary to Trump’s want for privacy we can be sure it wouldn’t be even considered by him.

  2. Lynda Groom April 4, 2017

    If the Obama administration had come up with a cure for cancer this current president would sign an executive order overturning that accomplishment. Does this crowd ever do anything except try and undo everything put in place by the previous administration? It does seem as if they have no actual ideas of their own except overturning. Is that the change his voters expect.

    1. 1standlastword April 4, 2017

      As you know this is an administration designed to “deconstruct the administrative state”; that is Steve Bannon’s executive task. As for Donald J. Trump, it is simply personal–he would put Obama back into the womb, if only he could.

      Trump comes his first (and LAST!) political job as POTUS (WTF!!!) and he comes without any interests, real world phisolophy or workable policy ideas and this is his nature as he advances himself with the money and ideas of others.

      The evil in the cosmos is that people like Trump are even born of a woman. The history of humanity is littered with the monsters coming out of wombs that should have be barren, unable to bear the fruit of life!

      1. Dapper Dan April 4, 2017

        And of course he’s fathered children that have been poisoned by his sick mindset. What a slippery slope we’re going down

    2. Dapper Dan April 4, 2017

      Of course with his cutting regulations left and right and relieving the EPA from enforcing clean air and water rules more people in the future actually will get cancer. And this is the pro life party that’s making it increasingly difficult for a woman to make a very personal choice on going thru a pregnancy that could even be life threatening to her ? It’s not just Trump who’s a byproduct of a party that has lost its moorings and setting our country adrift. These budget cuts will actually hurt those who voted for this fool. I hate to say it’s Karma but unfortunately we’re all affected by this wreck less POTUS

      1. Lynda Groom April 4, 2017

        Indeed, it is not just those who put Trump and his ‘ism’ into office that ultimately have to pay the price.

        1. FireBaron April 5, 2017

          Yeah, but as Karma is a b i t c h, the ones who voted him in are the ones who will be the least likely to afford health insurance under the GOP’s proposed plan. So they would be the first to suffer.

      2. FireBaron April 5, 2017

        Dan, how can you call the party that favors the Death Penalty for any crime more serious than Jaywalking the “pro life party”?

        1. Dapper Dan April 5, 2017

          I’m not calling the Republicans the pro life party but parroting their claim that they are. They’re imo the pro death party and I question how taking away a woman’s right to choice is considered being pro life but then offering no support after the child is born that the mother can’t afford to take care of

  3. Mama Bear April 4, 2017

    I can’t stop laughing at this one….from the man who has bitched endlessly about his own privacy.

    1. Pennyothomas April 5, 2017

      Google is paying $97 per hour! Work for few hours & have longer with friends and family! !wr333c:
      On monday I got a great new mclaren f1 from having earned $12778 this last four weeks.. 3 to 5 hours of work a day… Weekly paychecks… Bonus opportunities…Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      ➽➽➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialCashJobs333HomeHouse/GetPaid$97/Hour ★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫:::!wr333u:…….

  4. Thoughtopsy April 4, 2017

    Who does the Trump US Government actually work for?
    Does anyone believe that any VOTERS wanted this?
    That a large percentage of concerned American citizens burned up the phone lines desperately demanding that their private browsing history be allowed to be sold as a money-making product by the most hated companies in America?


    So now you clearly see what Citizens United has done with it’s plutocracy-creating ruling: The true masters are now those with the money.
    That goes for the two-faced Silicon Valley companies too.

    If you’d actually like Government to be run by the people (and be much more efficient) then:
    – Repeal Citizens United.
    – Make lobbying by Corporations or Companies or Industries illegal. Destroy the entire rotten lobbying industry, along with its revolving door in and out of government. Companies must pay off/convince the voters if they want something… not pay off the politicians.
    – Set Government and State Funds aside for all elections. All elections will be centrally funded in set amounts. Political parties can no longer saturate the airwaves for years… they have to strategize and chose carefully how best to use their limited funds.
    – Set strict timeframes for elections. Maybe 6 months for federal and 3 months for State. Make it illegal to advertise politically outside those times to give people a f**king rest.
    – Ban political contributions except by individuals, and that must be capped to a few thousand dollars.
    – Have industry funding if you must, but that must also be capped BY INDUSTRY. Not by contributing group or you get the PAC problem all over again.
    – All Political contributions are public and published.

    If you do this then the People get control back… and the Politicians don’t have to spend 80% of every day on the phone sucking up to rich people asking for their money for their next electoral campaign… and trading favors for it.
    Imagine the stuff they would get done instead.
    Imagine only having to care about elections for 3-6 months beforehand.
    Imagine the Politicians losing out on the fountain of money that drives all their decisions.
    Imagine the empty swamp after you ban all lobbyists. The lack of bribes. The lack of favor trading. The lack of influence.
    Imagine the sudden lack of interest in Politics by a lot of Republican politicians once the guaranteed gravy train of money goes away.
    Imagine the better quality of person who might apply for the job when being elected actually become more of a moderately paid public servant role than an influence-peddling favor-trading power-brokering wealth making machine.


  5. FireBaron April 5, 2017

    Here’s hoping we get to see the browsing history of Teflon Donnie, Old Pruneface and Paul Ryan.

  6. DO-NOT-MESS_with_USa April 8, 2017

    Heads will clash, if I don’t get cash.
    If you don’t cut me a deal, I’ll give no approval seal.
    For my privacy is all up to me IF I sell,
    or see you in court, judge swing’n you’re guilty gavel.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.