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Urgent Request From Electronic Frontier Foundation to Save Online Privacy Rules

Monday, March 27, 2017 13:50
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(Before It's News)

  The Founding Fathers continue to shape our government in many ways, but the current digital crisis was beyond their foresight. (Matt Shirk / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0)

Online privacy is under attack.

WATCH: What Is the Future of Net Neutrality Under Trump?

On Monday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation sent an urgent request via email to make Internet users aware of the threat.

Dear Friend of Digital Freedom,

This is our last chance to keep Congress from stripping away crucial online privacy protections. Call your representatives now and tell them to protect federal privacy rules.

Your Internet service provider knows a lot about you: the webpages you visit, the things you purchase, the people you talk to, and more. Last year, the federal government updated rules to ensure that the companies that act as gatekeepers to the Internet can’t compromise your privacy to make a profit. Those rules were a huge win for consumers and are set to go into effect this year.

But Congress—along with the ISPs looking to make more money off of their customers—is trying to change that. The Senate voted 50-48 to pass a measure last week that would repeal those rules, and the House is scheduled to vote tomorrow.

Because Congress is using a little-known tool called a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution, it would also effectively prohibit the FCC from creating similar privacy rules in the future. That could leave consumers without a federal agency to protect them against privacy invasions by their ISPs.

And it’s not just following you around the Internet to sell your browsing records to advertisers that we’re worried about. If Congress repeals these rules, ISPs will be able to do things like hijack your Internet searches to redirect you to advertisers’ pages, show you additional ads, and use supercookies to track you even when you’re using pro-privacy settings like Incognito mode.

We need to let our representatives in Congress know that they can’t put ISPs’ profits ahead of their constituents’ privacy. Call your lawmakers today and tell them to oppose S.J. Res 34, the CRA resolution to repeal the FCC’s privacy rules.

Thank you,
Kate Tummarello
Activism Team

P.S. Got questions about this issue? We’ll be talking about the vote to repeal the FCC’s privacy rules during a Reddit AMA Monday at 9 a.m. PDT.

Massachusetts Sen. Edward Markey, a longtime supporter of net neutrality and online privacy, reinforced his commitment to consumer rights last week by strongly opposing the Senate resolution to roll back Internet users’ privacy. For his efforts, Markey was named the Truthdigger of the Week.

—Posted by Eric Ortiz

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