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Privacy Government The Internet United States

'Why The US Senate's Vote To Throw Out ISP Privacy Laws Isn't All Bad' (technologyreview.com) 110

"Nobody wants their data spread far and wide," write two associate editors at MIT Technology Review, "but the FCC's rules were an inconsistent solution to a much larger problem." An anonymous reader writes: They point out the rules passed in October "weren't even yet in effect," but more importantly -- they only would've applied to ISPs. "[T]he reality is that the U.S. doesn't have a baseline law that governs online privacy," and the truth is, it never did. "The FCC's new privacy rules would have been dramatic, to be sure -- but they would only have addressed one piece of the problem, leaving companies like Facebook and Google free to continue doing much the same thing.
While the repeal still needs approval in the U.S. House of Representatives and the president's signature, their article argues that what's really needed is "a more consistent approach to privacy."
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'Why The US Senate's Vote To Throw Out ISP Privacy Laws Isn't All Bad'

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  • Brrr (Score:4, Funny)

    by gerf ( 532474 ) <edtgerf@gmail.com> on Saturday March 25, 2017 @04:41PM (#54109481) Journal
    Did someone leave a window open? It seems a little shilly in here.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Immerman ( 2627577 )

      Agreed. Sure, replacing it with something more consistent and expansive would definitely be better, but that's not happening.

      So what exactly is "not all bad" about repealing the imperfect protections we *do* have?

      • So what exactly is "not all bad" about repealing the imperfect protections we *do* have?

        The executives at the ISPs will get a slightly higher bonus this year. I guess technically that means it isn't all bad?

      • Because then we will have no protection at all.

      • There are 2 ways to make this stop: 1-Convince your elected rep that spying is costing him/her votes. 2-Deliberately inject garbage into the spying, so those that benefit from it stop benefiting, and therefore stop paying for it.
      • by tsa ( 15680 )

        A more consistent approach to privacy probably means for them that they more consistantly ignore it.

    • Re:Brrr (Score:4, Funny)

      by arglebargle_xiv ( 2212710 ) on Saturday March 25, 2017 @08:28PM (#54110403)

      Why The US Senate's Vote To Throw Out ISP Privacy Laws Isn't All Bad

      Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your vote here is only MOSTLY bad. There's a big difference between mostly bad and all bad. Mostly bad is slightly good. With all bad, well, with all bad there's usually only one thing you can do. Go back to debating healthcare reform with Miracle Trump. And remember, you rush a Miracle Trump, you get rotten miracles.

      • Bravo! Bravo!
      • Why The US Senate's Vote To Throw Out ISP Privacy Laws Isn't All Bad

        Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your vote here is only MOSTLY bad. There's a big difference between mostly bad and all bad. Mostly bad is slightly good. With all bad, well, with all bad there's usually only one thing you can do. Go back to debating healthcare reform with Miracle Trump. And remember, you rush a Miracle Trump, you get rotten miracles.

        Worst day for internet privacy. I mean how can you let your online privacy to be open. This FCC bill throwing is not less than a joke. Seriously, people need to get combat from this and use a VPN to protect their data and ISPs to look into your system. The most encrypted, fast streaming and dedicated servers can be found on PureVPN.

  • Not the same (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GezusK ( 449864 ) on Saturday March 25, 2017 @04:43PM (#54109495)

    I can choose to not give Google and Facebook my data. I don't get that choice with my ISP. I have only have one available, and they can see all my traffic.

    • by capturing and voice analysing the words that I express in all my phone calls.

      Ok so I know the NSA already has all that stuff, but selling it corporations for profit is over the line.

      The bright side is this will spur end-to-end encryption universal adoption like nothing else would.

      • by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Saturday March 25, 2017 @05:32PM (#54109677)

        I don't think it makes sense for ad companies themselves to sell that kind of information. That kind of information is valuable to the ad company for their own purposes, and is devalued if they transfer it to a third party.

        For example, why would it make sense for Google to sell information it collects on you? Google sells ad placement services, and if this third party wants access to Google's users for marketing purposes, it will have to buy ad space from Google. So why on earth would Google sell this information to the third party? That would only give the third party the means to compete with them for either providing its own ad placement or selling its own ad placement services, thus eating into Google's ad revenue.

        Now if you're not in the business of selling ad space or producing ads, THEN it would make sense.

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          You are talking insane psychopaths driven by insensate greed and this quarters profits. They do not care one iota about consequences, destroy privacy, meh, destroy democracy, meh, destroy the corporations they work for men. They are sick fuckers who revel in the chaos they cause as long as it feeds their greed and ego. Just like this stupid shit, destroy privacy for everyone, meh, bigger bonus, power to spy on everyone, masturbating in the dark looking at others peoples pictures and video and communications

          • You are talking insane psychopaths driven by insensate greed and this quarters profits.

            Even if this was somewhat accurate, (it's not) shareholders would quickly ditch any stock run by a company that does this, and it would just as quickly crash and burn. The vast majority of shareholders won't buy a lot of shares in a company unless they plan to hold on to it long term (i.e. 3+ years) and 95% of them don't care one way or another about quarterly results, nor do they bother to read 10Qs. ETF/MF/HF managers will, but they typically won't sell off a stock just because a company had a bad quarter

            • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

              Have you been Enroned lately, well, apparently not. How about the bank bail out. How about the credit union crush. How about the dot bomb. Oh look, Wells Fargo. That not enough for you how about https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org].

              Typical business plan. Good company, buy it out for more than it is worth, reduce expenditures no matter how destructive that reduction, cheat customers upon a mass scale, repackage with the aid of a corrupt financial institution, who sells it prior to the collapse, run off with pr

    • This is no worse than back in the 1960s when Ma Bell used to have its people listen in on all phone calls and write down the topics discussed on decks of index cards for each phone account. They then sold stacks of these cards to outfits like Montgomery Ward and S&H Green Stamps, which helped them to mail out coupon offers tailored for customers' interests. They only sent copies to J. Edgar Hoover when he said there was a good reason.

      The U.S. Post office enhanced their revenues with a similar program s

      • Prior to automated switchboards, there was basically zero expectation of privacy for phone systems. It used to be that your phone line was shared among numerous houses who could listen at any time, and the operator had to listen in to connect calls and terminate them as requested. Metered calls in particular had to have somebody on the line to keep track of your time (and every minute they'd tell you how many minutes your call was so far) for billing purposes.

        When it came time to switch to automated systems

    • by Anonymous Coward

      But the Free Market! And Competition! Seriously, though, the points about Google and Facebook are valid as well. Both function by pervasive littering of websites with their trackers to better "know" their targets for ad purposes. That an ISP may be your only choice matters little in the grand scheme of what this represents. Or put more simply, it should not be a requirement of the average person to engage in pervasive, vigilante activities that their activities, online or in public, not be constantly m

      • by Anonymous Coward

        There's no free market in ISPs. The major players have carved up America into fiefdom monopolies, largely using a national patchwork of municipal laws.

        If there were an actual free market, a privacy-centered competitor could arise that would challenge the major incumbents. That cannot happen today, not because of the FCC or the Senate but because of the countless monopolistic arrangements made at the municipal level across America.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Really? It might be theoretically almost possible with some really clever blocking that is able to perfectly and without missing any filter out all the tracking images, supercookies, scripts and whatnot littering the internet, care to let us in on your setup?

    • so as soon as the law allows they will sell the history for AI farming.

    • This is not a fair statement. Google and Facebook both still track you if websites have links to their sites or embedded functions (Adsense, logins, etc.). It takes a significant effort to avoid it (plug-ins, IP blocking, etc.), enough so that the average user is unlikely to do so.

      Which is very similar to the issue with ISPs, where using Tor or a VPN would be the only way to hide your traffic from them.

      I agree with the sentiment in the article. Online privacy should be made law in such a way that it a
  • Great thinking! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spikenerd ( 642677 ) on Saturday March 25, 2017 @04:50PM (#54109527)
    Let's throw out our current privacy protection because we might get a better one later. I think I'll quit my job now so I'll have plenty of time on my hands in case I find a better one. And would anyone like my car? I need to free up some space in my garage in case someone comes along and gives me a better one.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Waste of govt time to discard this little bit of regulation, congress should be working on drafting a real privacy law that actually helps people. Let's call it a baseline - if a company obtains information from a customer or user (that is - whether they paid or not) , that information is private and it is unlawful to share it without written consent.

    Such a baseline privacy law doesn't even need to mention Internet , online , apps , or whatever. It doesn't need to be only for medical or financial informatio

  • Enemy of the good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drew_kime ( 303965 ) on Saturday March 25, 2017 @04:55PM (#54109555) Journal

    "The FCC's new privacy rules would have been dramatic, to be sure -- but they would only have addressed one piece of the problem, leaving companies like Facebook and Google free to continue doing much the same thing."

    So instead of repealing the law, how about extending to also apply to Google and Facebook?

    This is a constant refrain from Republicans: "This solution doesn't solve the problem completely or perfectly, so it should be repealed." If there's any meaningful space between that often-repeated position and simply eliminating all corporate oversight, I can't see it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tomhath ( 637240 )

      So instead of repealing the law, how about extending

      It wasn't a law. It was a regulation the FCC made up without the authority to do so. Congress slapped it down, now they will write a real law.

      • It wasn't a law. It was a regulation the FCC made up without the authority to do so. Congress slapped it down, now they will write a real law.

        This Congress has definitely proven how good they are at writing "real laws".

      • Congress slapped it down, now they will write a real law.

        Hahahahaha

        This Congress? Spend time doing their jobs?

        Hahahahahahahaha

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      "So instead of repealing the law, how about extending to also apply to Google and Facebook?"

      Not going to happen, I'll get to why in a moment... check out the links when you get the time. The brain doesn't see the world as it is, see the science on reasoning:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYmi0DLzBdQ [youtube.com]

      This is former national security advisor of the united states Zbigniew Brezinski, worried about the political awakening of the masses, the rich and corporations fear the political awakening of the masses of the

    • by bheerssen ( 534014 ) <bheerssen@gmail.com> on Sunday March 26, 2017 @12:05AM (#54111097)
      Republicans tell us that government is the problem, and now that they are in power, they intend to prove it.
  • Nice logic there MIT. So, it's better to give them all the keys with the expectation that this administration will somehow make a better more consistent privacy law instead of keeping at least some guarantees that ISPs, the ones that are between you and everything you do on the Internet, won't exploit your data for profit?

    What a bunch of bullshit. Look, this isn't your dreamy utopia. Not everything needs to have a "consistent approach", that will never happen, nor we expect it to happen, specially with a go

  • Forced enslavement of 12 year old children to work coal mines is legal in Oregon so it should be legal in all remaining 49 states.

    My neighbors happen to be contract killers so murder should be legal.

    Yo Judge!! some dude in front of me was speeding like waaayy faster than me so I shouldn't have to pay this here traffic fine.

    Shoplifting should be legal because I live on the west side and EVERYONE else does it.

    BUUUTTT MOOOOMMEEEEE!!!! Lil Jimmy did it tooo!!!!!!

  • All the good stuff is in the second bucket we'll pass later. We promise.

  • What non-partizan entity could review anything?
  • to keep your data safe from your ISP.
    If you have to use Facebook, Google, Microsoft 10, be creative with any data use.
    If an ISP, OS and social media want to collect data, let them collect pure fiction.
    Maybe some Firefox add on can help with that? A constant stream of social media and web words been created?
    TrackMeNot https://cs.nyu.edu/trackmenot/ [nyu.edu]
  • Uh...

    Some privacy is better than no privacy. Google and Facebook might be the biggest data aggregators and sellers, but you can choose not to use them. You can't choose not to use your ISP. And there's not even competition to choose another ISP if the one you're using decides to collect and sell your information.

    It was a good bill.

  • Regulation is not good enough, hence it is good to remove all of it? Sounds like flawed logic to me.

  • There's never any phased approaches. There's never chipping away at a problem. There's never gradual introductions. There's never any middle ground.

    If it's not perfect don't bother trying. If it doesn't cover everything and 100% of use cases then it should be scrapped.

    Its amazing how often I see this argument come up, and not just from the ruling class, but also the ruled class. e.g. when Obama care was being proposed we heard all sorts of arguments from people who didn't understand healthcare systems in ot

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