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posted by takyon on Saturday March 25 2017, @07:13PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the shear,-milk,-but-do-not-pet-'em dept.

The Senate just voted to undo landmark rules covering your Internet privacy

U.S. senators voted 50 to 48 to approve a joint resolution from Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) that would prevent the Federal Communications Commission's privacy rules from going into effect. The resolution also would bar the FCC from ever enacting similar consumer protections. It now heads to the House.

takyon: Also at NPR, The Hill, Reuters, Ars Technica, and EFF.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Repeal of U.S. Broadband Privacy Rules Sparks Interest in VPNs 35 comments

The FCC broadband privacy rules have now been repealed by both the Senate and the House, and the repeal is highly likely to be approved by President Trump. This has generated interest (and advertising) for VPN services:

The vote by the U.S. Congress to repeal rules that limit how internet service providers can use customer data has generated renewed interest in an old internet technology: virtual private networks, or VPNs.

[...] "Time to start using a VPN at home," Vijaya Gadde‏, general counsel of Twitter Inc, said in a tweet on Tuesday that was retweeted by Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey. Gadde was not immediately available for comment. Twitter said she was commenting in her personal capacity and not on behalf of the company.

[...] Some smaller broadband providers are now seizing on privacy as a competitive advantage. Sonic, a California-based broadband provider, offers a free VPN service to its customers so they can connect to its network when they are not home. That ensures that when Sonic users log on to wi-fi at a coffee shop or hotel, for example, their data is not collected by that establishment's broadband provider. "We see VPN as being important for our customers when they're not on our network. They can take it with them on the road," CEO Dane Jasper said.

[...] Private Internet Access, a VPN provider, took a visible stand against the repeal measure when it bought a full-page ad in the New York Times on Sunday. But the company, which boasts about a million subscribers, potentially stands to benefit from the legislation, acknowledged marketing director Caleb Chen.

VPNs have drawbacks. They funnel all user traffic through one point, so they are an attractive target for hackers and spies. The biggest obstacle to their routine use as a privacy safeguard is that they can be too much of a hassle to set up for many customers. They also cost money.


Original Submission

Trump Signs Bill Allowing ISPs to Share or Sell Customers' Browsing History 44 comments

The Inquirer reports

Donald Trump has signed the bill that will allow ISPs to share or sell customers' browsing history for advertising purposes.

Last week, the Republican House of Representatives passed a resolution which overturns a rule laid down by the FCC during the Obama administration that meant that users had to give their permission before such data was used by third-parties and any breach would be reported as a hack.

President Trump signed the bill on Monday [April 4], which means while many ISPs say they will not sell respect[sic] customers privacy and won't flag their browsing history and other personal data, they can now do so under the new rules. Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast will no longer be obligated to obtain consent before selling and sharing data, and they don't have to notify customers about what kind of data they collect.

[...] There's one winner of this privacy-destroying bill, though, and that's VPN providers.

NordVPN said it has already seen an 86 per cent spike in [inquiries].

Common Cause published, via Common Dreams, a comment from Statement of Michael Copps​, former FCC Commissioner & Common Cause Special Adviser:

Despite a campaign filled with rhetoric about the plight of forgotten Americans, Trump has once again come down on the side of corporate profiteering at the expense of Americans who don't sit on corporate boards and can't afford a $200,000 membership at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach. Trump has flip-flipped on his own campaign promises and handed over Americans' right to privacy to those with the deepest pockets.

Previous: Senate Votes Against FCC Internet Privacy Rules


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 1, Disagree) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday March 25 2017, @07:44PM (12 children)

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Saturday March 25 2017, @07:44PM (#484174) Homepage

    Look, as shitty as this is, it really isn't that big a deal. If you're not using Tor all the time then chances are that scumsucking advertising firms already have more than enough information about you, especially in an age where ad preferences can determine that you're pregnant before you even know it. Everytime you have your car serviced, want to buy groceries without getting screwed on the prices, buy fucking anything with a card, or install and use damn near any app; then you are allowing greedy service providers to collect and sell your data to anybody they damn well please.

    Law enforcement are going to get that info anyway, if they want it.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Scruffy Beard 2 on Saturday March 25 2017, @07:53PM (4 children)

      by Scruffy Beard 2 (6030) on Saturday March 25 2017, @07:53PM (#484175)

      The target incident was pregnancy detection before the girl's father noticed. The girl had to know in order to change her purchasing decisions enough to be detected.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Sulla on Sunday March 26 2017, @12:01AM (3 children)

        by Sulla (5173) on Sunday March 26 2017, @12:01AM (#484224) Journal

        This. It is absolutely unacceptable the amount of power being given to corporations and the lack of any protection of privacy.

        Guess I shouldn't be surprised with a senate full of treasoners like McCain and Graham.

        --
        Ceterum censeo Sinae esse delendam
        • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 26 2017, @12:55AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 26 2017, @12:55AM (#484233)

          Lol. I like how your enemies are your enemies no matter what the issue. Life sure is simple, ain't it?

          • (Score: 2) by Sulla on Monday March 27 2017, @12:36AM (1 child)

            by Sulla (5173) on Monday March 27 2017, @12:36AM (#484484) Journal

            Yes. I hate neocons. Be they John "NDAA detention without the 4th" McCain, Graham, Pelosi, or Reid.

            But I am a greedy vengeful person who prefers freedom to corporate power and peace to war. Convenient how the same people tend to alwyas tow the line when it comes to ruining those things.

            --
            Ceterum censeo Sinae esse delendam
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 02 2017, @04:34PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 02 2017, @04:34PM (#487958)

              Woooosh!
              Stupid people don't know they are stupid.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 25 2017, @09:23PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 25 2017, @09:23PM (#484190)

      If you're not using Tor all the time then chances are that scumsucking advertising firms already have more than enough information about you

      Just because somebody has been punching me, doesn't mean I should be OK with more people punching me.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by Azuma Hazuki on Sunday March 26 2017, @12:21AM

      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 26 2017, @12:21AM (#484227) Journal

      Psssh, you're just sour because they let your dad know you got knocked up, admit it.

      --
      I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 26 2017, @05:20AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 26 2017, @05:20AM (#484272)

      "Law enforcement are going to get that info anyway, if they want it."

      Yep, they just ask guys' wives for it.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by takyon on Saturday March 25 2017, @08:06PM (6 children)

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Saturday March 25 2017, @08:06PM (#484177) Journal

    They never went into effect, so it's business as usual.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 4, Touché) by moondoctor on Saturday March 25 2017, @09:00PM

      by moondoctor (2963) on Saturday March 25 2017, @09:00PM (#484184)

      Yep, and that's the problem.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by youngatheart on Saturday March 25 2017, @11:55PM (4 children)

      by youngatheart (42) on Saturday March 25 2017, @11:55PM (#484223)

      I agree that it's a travesty that the vote went the way it did (and these people "represent" me?!) However, I think everything I've seen in the media acts like something changed. It didn't change. ISPs could do it before, and they continue being able to do it now. All the headlines make it sound like ISPs were suddenly given the right to abuse their position, but in reality, ISPs were given the right to do what they were already doing and have been doing all along.

      Does it make you mad? It should. But while you're decrying the problem, just make sure you complain about reality, not fiction.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 26 2017, @12:59AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 26 2017, @12:59AM (#484235)

        Something did change.
        The right for ISPs to abuse us was given back.
        It doesn't matter that it was taken away a few months or 10 years ago.
        What matters is we finally took it away and these assholes gave it back.

        Do you think that if slavery were re-instated 3 months after the end of the civil war, everybody would say "No biggee, nothing really changed?"

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 26 2017, @06:49PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 26 2017, @06:49PM (#484412)

          SHUT UP! AMERICA GREAT AGAIN EMAILS LOCK HER UP RENTAMOB RADICAL LEFT WHATEVER YOU NEED LET'S GO

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 26 2017, @07:39PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 26 2017, @07:39PM (#484424)

        Y'know what I hate?
        Articles that "report" on a piece of legislation AND DON'T MENTION THE GODDAMNED TRACKING NUMBER.

        The item here is Senate Joint Resolution 34 for the 115th Congress.
        Knowing THAT, you can find out -specifically- who voted which way.
        S.J. Res 34 voting results [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [votesmart.org]
        Note how the vote is along strict party lines.

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bradley13 on Saturday March 25 2017, @09:05PM (7 children)

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 25 2017, @09:05PM (#484185) Homepage Journal

    The privacy protections would be a good thing, in a world of regulation. OTOH, if would be fine if no government regulated the internet, meaning (for example) that no ISP would have a guaranteed monopoly anywhere.

    The problem comes when you get half-assed regulation, also known as corporate cronyism. The government regulates in favor of the entrenched companies and chokes out their competition. Then those companies donate generously to...um, re-election campaigns, yeah, that's the ticket. Funny how the net worth of Congresscritters increases so quickly while they are in office.

    That's what it is in the case. ISPs think they can sell your data for $$$, so some of those $$$ are flowing into the "right" hands. Comcast is one of your big US ISPs, right? $7 million in campaign donations last year, and $15 million in lobbying. [opensecrets.org] That money clearly has nothing to do with their political convictions, because it's spread evenly across the political spectrun: they clearly want to make sure that everyone is indebted to them. They donated just as much to Bernie Sanders as to Jeb Bush. Pretty much the same amout to the various D-organisations as to the R-organizations. Quite a lot to Hillary's campaign, although (oops) they forgot to donate to Trump - I'm sure they won't make that mistake again. Similar numbers for AT&T, Time Warner and other big US ISPs.

    I don't know what the solution is for campaign financing. You don't want only the rich to be able to run for office. But allowing special interests to buy influence is also not a great solution, and that's what you've got right now.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 25 2017, @09:38PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 25 2017, @09:38PM (#484196)

      I am all for fixing our political process to remove the influence of money, but "OTOH, if would be fine if no government regulated the internet, meaning (for example) that no ISP would have a guaranteed monopoly anywhere" is not quite what would really happen. Unregulated markets tend towards monopolization since the big players can buy / bully their smaller competitors. Simple human greed and ambition is the problem, so we need checks and balances to make sure one person can not mess up the whole. The problem with regulation is making sure it works, and a recurring problem is regulation that is ineffective and counter productive. Not sure how to make the system strict yet flexible.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 25 2017, @09:39PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 25 2017, @09:39PM (#484198)

      > meaning (for example) that no ISP would have a guaranteed monopoly anywhere.

      Guaranteed monopolies for ISPs have been illegal for decades.
      The 1992 Cable Act [niu.edu] made it illegal for municipalities to grant exclusive franchises or even to enable de-facto exclusive franchises by unreasonably with-holding franchise agreements from any company that meets the established requirements.

      That hasn't stopped natural monopolies from forming due to the large investment required to build out a cable plant. But its not the government doing it.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 25 2017, @11:24PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 25 2017, @11:24PM (#484219)

        "Alternative facts" aka truth smackdown!

        The mythical "free market" is just as likely to occur as the mythical "communist utopia". In both cases humans corrupt the system instead of following the idealistic rules that would make the world better for everyone.

    • (Score: 2) by Sulla on Sunday March 26 2017, @12:07AM (2 children)

      by Sulla (5173) on Sunday March 26 2017, @12:07AM (#484226) Journal

      I wonder which of the Dems would have caved first if there was a threat that the resolution would fail.

      The only thing I have seen recently on campaign finance reform I like was the restriction of trump admin people from serving in certain govt contractor positions or lobbying for something like 7 years after leaving office. Similar restriction on generals but also includes foreign governments. I guess that is more of general corruption, and it will probably not amount to anything, but first time in a long time anyone has even talked about it. Would love to see some restrictions on congress and senate.

      I think term limits might help somewhat, but only for long enough for corporations to find a new way to be corrupt.

      --
      Ceterum censeo Sinae esse delendam
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 26 2017, @01:14AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 26 2017, @01:14AM (#484237)

        I wonder which of the Dems would have caved first if there was a threat that the resolution would fail.

        Lol. It would never even have put up for a vote if the democrats were in charge. That's why it waited until this year.

        The only thing I have seen recently on campaign finance reform I like was the restriction of trump admin people from serving in certain govt contractor positions or lobbying for something like 7 years after leaving office.

        It is five years. But its a sham. They can immediately start lobbying other parts of the government that they did not work for directly even if they built relationships with those departments through inter-agency work. Under Obama they had to wait two years before they could register as a lobbyist at all and that was generally enough to keep them honest because 2 years on ice is a long-ass time in politics. Grump also eliminated Obama's ban on hiring lobbyists less than 2 years out of the game, now they can be hired as long as it isn't a department that they had officially lobbied within the last 2 years.

        Also Grump can issue waivers in secret, under Obama all waivers were public (and thus we know there weren't too many of them).

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 26 2017, @06:53PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 26 2017, @06:53PM (#484415)

          Smells kinda swampy.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Murdoc on Sunday March 26 2017, @12:26AM

      by Murdoc (2518) on Sunday March 26 2017, @12:26AM (#484229) Homepage

      I'd thought it'd be simple: Take it out of federal money, each candidate gets a set amount, say $10,000. Can't run an effective ad campaign for that? Good! We don't need any more advertising. Just a web page with some relevant facts on it: your qualifications, your past voting behaviour (if any), your platform, stuff like that. None of this "I'll make America Great Again!" BS. That's what every politician says, essentially. It's a waste of time, money, and bandwidth, not to mention blatant appeal to emotion.

      Of course, getting things to change to this I imagine would be nearly impossible, but that's what's needed.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 25 2017, @11:23PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 25 2017, @11:23PM (#484218)

    Is VPN enough to deal with this issue? If I setup a little Linux or BSD router between my ISP modem and my internal network and have it connected 24/7 to a VPN provider is that enough to keep the ISP in the dark regarding my browsing habits? If so, which VPN provider do you guys trust?

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