The broadband industry is suing Maine to stop a Web-browsing privacy law similar to the one killed by Congress and President Donald Trump in 2017 [arstechnica.com]. Industry groups claim the state law violates First Amendment protections on free speech and the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution.
Customer data protected by this law includes Web-browsing history, application-usage history, precise geolocation data, the content of customers' communications, IP addresses, device identifiers, financial and health information, and personal details used for billing.
The state law "imposes unprecedented and unduly burdensome restrictions on ISPs', and only ISPs', protected speech," while imposing no requirements on other companies that deliver services over the Internet, the groups wrote in their lawsuit [acaconnects.org]. The plaintiffs are America's Communications Association, CTIA, NCTA, and USTelecom.
The lawsuit is part of a larger battle between ISPs and states that are trying to impose regulations stronger than those enforced by the federal government. One factor potentially working against the ISPs is that the Federal Communications Commission's attempt to preempt all current and future state net neutrality laws was blocked by a federal appeals court ruling [arstechnica.com] in October 2019.
But while the FCC was allowed to eliminate its own net neutrality rules, judges said [arstechnica.com] the commission "lacked the legal authority to categorically abolish all 50 States' statutorily conferred authority to regulate intrastate communications."
Maine Governor Signs Strictest Internet Protections in the U.S. [soylentnews.org]