The Problem - S.J.Res.34 Bill
On April 3rd, 2017 President Trump signed a bill to kill the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) privacy framework, which was created to protect the usage of broadband consumers' sensitive data:
- Requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to ask for permission before collecting sensitive information such as content of communications, precise geo-location, financial information, etc.
- Allowing users to opt out of giving sensitive information to ISPs
- Only allow ISPs to collect basic service information
- Notify customers within 30 days that their data has been stolen in a data breach
ISPs (Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, Cox, etc) have lobbied $1,726,288 against these regulations and have passed the bill through Senate 50 to 48 and the House 215 to 205. These votes were made along party lines but whether you are on the Democrat or Republican side, this issue affects the privacy of all Americans sets precedent for future privacy-killing laws being passed. The elimination of of these rules allows ISPs to:
- Monitor and sell all of your location data, search history, app usage, and browsing habits without your permission
- Hijack your search results and redirect your traffic to paying third parties
- Insert ads into web pages that would not have otherwise had them
Why Does This Matter
The issue directly affects your privacy in the United States, and will indirectly affect it outside of North America. The passing of this bill allows the government and corporations to take away your rights for the sake of profit, and it will begin to pave the way for them to take away more rights in the future. Whether your privacy and the passing of this law is a concern to you or not, everyone has a fundamental right to their privacy just as they have a right to free speech, a decent standard of living, and/or any other basic human right. Allowing corporations into your digital life is no different than allowing strangers into your home and personal belongings, and with the passing of this bill, you are letting them sell who you are to anyone willing to pay.
"Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say" - Edward Snowden
What You Can Do To Protect Yourself
Although this bill has already been signed into law, a new law can be passed to reinstate the FCC's "Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Communication Services" rules. Start by signing and sharing this petition and the petition on the official White House website which is linked below. Contact your representatives and ask them to introduce and vote for a new bill to reinstate the rules.
Contact Your House Representative: http://www.house.gov/htbin/findrep
Contact Your Senator: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
We the people, by signing this petition, demand that Congress reinstates "Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services" bill to protect the American people from having their information released by our ISPs.
Concerned Anonymous started this petition with a single signature, and now has 21,075 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.