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On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to vote YES on S.J.Res. 34, a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, of the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services.” This resolution aims to halt agency overreach by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). FreedomWorks Foundation submitted a comment to FCC in opposition to this rule.
Introduced by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), the resolution would prevent the FCC from implementing rules that dictate the way broadband Internet service providers handle their customers’ personal information. S.J.Res. 34 passed the Senate last week by a vote of 50 to 48.
Although consumer data privacy is of significant concern to every American, the proper parties should address the issue. In this area, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has historically held authority on the establishment and enforcement of general online privacy rules. Since the FCC can only regulate a portion of the Internet sphere – service providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T – other Internet companies, namely websites like Facebook and Google, would escape any stringent data privacy rules enacted by the FCC.
Creating more regulation in an uneven fashion would not only benefit certain companies in the industry by creating a clear advantage in digital advertising, it would also fail to achieve any consumer data protection purpose. In order to provide Americans with more robust and clearly defined protective measures, it is important to allow Congress and the FTC to set the rules in this sphere. Enabling other agencies to further restrict only a certain portion of an industry burdens privacy, progress, and business.
It is important to move away from the Obama-era, regulatory induced system we have seen grow over the last eight years.
Under the Obama administration, the FCC continued to push its influence into other areas. However, former FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler’s successor, Chairman Ajit Pai, has taken the FCC in a more positive direction, making it his goal to work alongside the FTC to ensure privacy rules are built into a “comprehensive and uniform regulatory framework.” S.J.Res. 34 complements this approach.
FreedomWorks will count the votes for S.J. Res. 34 when calculating our Scorecard for 2017 and reserves the right to score any related votes. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.
Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks