Jan 27, 2017

Tech companies ask Congress to reverse FCC privacy rules

Industry groups are joining a push to roll back the FCC's privacy rules for internet providers.

The details: The groups — which represent companies like Google, Facebook, Verizon and Comcast — want lawmakers to pass a resolution rescinding the rules using a law called the Congressional Review Act. It lets Congress block agency rulemakings within a certain period of time. They're echoing a similar call from conservative groups yesterday.

What this would mean: Internet providers would be able to use and share their subscribers' data without first asking for explicit permission, as the current rules require.

A sign of things to come: Even though the FCC's rules don't actually apply to "edge providers" like Google and Facebook, the groups say "the onerous and unnecessary rules it adopted establish a very harmful precedent for the entire internet ecosystem."

Key context: Even if Congress doesn't act here, the FCC's new Republican leadership could take steps to reverse or change the privacy rules.

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