House Blocks FCC's ISP Privacy Rule

In a 215-205 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to block the FCC's Internet service provider (ISP) privacy rule, enacted ...

The FCC has revamped its rules for the Connect America Fund and its E-rate program.
The FCC has revamped its rules for the Connect America Fund and its E-rate program.

In a 215-205 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to block the FCC's Internet service provider (ISP) privacy rule, enacted last October under then-Chairman Tom Wheeler.

The U.S. Senate voted similarly last week under the auspices of the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which gives Congress 60 legislative days to review and reject agency regulations. The House passed an identical measure, clearing the way for the joint bill to go to the White House for President Trump's signature. If Trump signs it, the FCC is prohibited from passing similar rules again.

Earlier this month, the FCC under its new Chairman Ajit Pai issued a temporary stay of the rule to provide time for the FCC to work with the FTC to create a consistent online privacy framework. Pai, an FCC commissioner when the rule was passed by the FCC, opposed it at the time.

The privacy ruling included provisions to let consumers opt out of ISP marketing efforts and required specific opt-in for most all other consumer data sharing, as well as data breach reporting to both consumers and the FCC. The ISP industry objected to the rule, saying it unfairly targeted them while ignoring other large online entities, such as Google and Amazon, that have similar access to consumers' data.

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