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US Congress Votes To Shred ISP Privacy Rules (theregister.co.uk) 547

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Register: The U.S. House of Representatives has just approved a "congressional disapproval" vote of privacy rules, which gives your ISP the right to sell your internet history to the highest bidder. The measure passed by 232 votes to 184 along party lines, with one Democrat voting in favor and 14 not voting. This follows the same vote in the Senate last week. Just prior to the vote, a White House spokesman said the president supported the bill, meaning that the decision will soon become law. This approval means that whoever you pay to provide you with internet access -- Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, etc -- will be able to sell everything they know about your use of the internet to third parties without requiring your approval and without even informing you. That information can be used to build a very detailed picture of who you are: what your political and sexual leanings are; whether you have kids; when you are at home; whether you have any medical conditions; and so on -- a thousand different data points that, if they have sufficient value to companies willing to pay for them, will soon be traded without your knowledge. With over 100 million households online in the United States, that means Congress has just given Big Cable an annual payday of between $35 billion and $70 billion.
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US Congress Votes To Shred ISP Privacy Rules

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  • Republicans (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PoopJuggler ( 688445 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @04:44PM (#54130207)
    Is there anything they won't rape for money?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ventsyv ( 2740063 )
      Net Neutrality is next.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Only Republicans would rape the Internet. And they got a orangutan in office to rubber stamp it.

        • Re:Internet Rape (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @05:46PM (#54130771)

          Only Republicans would rape the Internet. And they got a orangutan in office to rubber stamp it.

          Yes the Republicans have been pushing for this since SOPA, and it was protested about and struck down so they tried renaming it CISPA and that got struck down and now they are pulling this crap. It is not so much about the president but the fact we have Republicans in the house and senate who think they have a blank check to do whatever they want.. I expect they are going to try to make abortion illegal and pull all planned parenthood funding, I imagine they are going to pull all support for climate change research and put as much money into coal and oil drilling and digging and I know for a fact they are going to try to get us embroiled in more wars so that if there is a Democratic resurgence they will be dealing with the fall out from that war so hard that they will not be able to accomplish anything in the 4 or 8 years they have, thereby leaving an open for another republican to get in on the idea that the Democrat guy got nothing done. Same old Republican crap , different day! I have said it before, This is what you get when you vote Republicans into office. Get used to it kids! I learned this a long long time ago.

          • Yeah, they kinda do. They own the House, Senate & Presidency. They mostly own the Supreme Court and will after Gourch gets appointed (Dems don't have the votes to stop it and the Repubs can change the filibuster rules with their votes).

            Face it, we handed them a blank check when we elected Trump. They don't always have the balls to cash it (their first round of billionaire tax cuts in the guise of Health Care failed) but they've got it. In two years time we've got a chance to revoke that check in the
            • Re:Blank check? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @08:56PM (#54131955) Homepage

              Face it the entire US election system was pretty fucked up. In action, you could not tell the difference between Republicans and Democrats, sure they made different noises and ran different PR campaigns to scam the electors but there was no real difference in their profession, as corporate whores and every is for sale.

              This of course can be challenged in the court, as it breaks the constitution, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.", just to be clear for idiots, no where in that paragraph is that regulatory constraint limited to action by government. No fucking line in there about by the government, it is across the board. So the law infringes as passed by government as it denies the right of a person to be secure in the papers, papers being communications, that is the law and it is not limited to government ie government can not pass that law to allow some individuals to attack the security of other citizens and their communications.

        • by AaronW ( 33736 )

          That's an insult to orangutans. They are gentle peaceful and intelligent creatures.

        • by icensnow ( 932196 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @10:44PM (#54132489)
          I happened to be at the National Zoo in DC this weekend. Please be nicer to orangutans and don't compare them to the current Oval Office occupant. They are intelligent, interesting, and they seem to have a sense of humor.
    • Re: Republicans (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @04:48PM (#54130261)

      Yes. Anyone with more money.

      They do believe in a free market, and sell themselves out to the high bidder.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      I hope the Democrats' campaign ads pound home this evil deed during the next round of representative elections. Rub it in!

    • "Is there anything they won't rape for money?"

      I'm assuming that question was rhetorical.

    • > Is there anything they won't rape for money?

      Females.
    • Next up: The Patriotic and Antiterrorist Transparency Act, which mandates that all houses be built with glass instead of siding and drywall.
    • Democrats (Score:2, Troll)

      by mattmarlowe ( 694498 )

      Yes, Republicans will allow individuals to sign contracts that allow ISP's to rape their privacy - believing that people should pretty much be able to do what they want as long as they are willing to pay the consequences.

      Democrats on the hand, want everyone except for the rich to be able to avoid all negative consequences -- afterall they can always find someone other than themselves to blame, and democrats are sure happy to rape anyone except the poor or illegals for anything that makes them feel good. Th

      • Re:Democrats (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sgage ( 109086 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @06:02PM (#54130889)

        Right. If you don't like it, just sign a contract with another ISP. Oh wait! There is no other ISP!.

        Yes, people should be left to do what they want, so long as we know exactly what they're doing at all times. Watch which websites you visti - it's going into your file.

        You are a fool if you think the Republicans are some freedom-loving outfit. The Democrats certainly have their issues as well, but this is really beyond the pale...

      • Re:Democrats (Score:5, Insightful)

        by globaljustin ( 574257 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @07:51PM (#54131507) Journal

        Democrats on the hand, want everyone except for the rich to be able to avoid all negative consequences

        This is fsking ridiculous, and only a Trump-supporter type person would put forth such a warped, bullshit comment.

        Democrats do not, in any way shape or form, want to keep people from negative consequences.

    • Re:Republicans (Score:5, Insightful)

      by The Real Dr John ( 716876 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @05:31PM (#54130673) Homepage

      We need to face it. Capitalism, while good in theory, is working out particularly badly for people now because the corporations and the oligarchs running them have taken over the media and the government and are hell bent on squeezing workers to the breaking point. The mainstream media is wholly owned by giant corporations and they pump out fake news, corporate-friendly propaganda 24/7. Capitalism needs to be saved from itself The money addicted oligarchs need to be reigned in. People need to get a better deal. New Deal 2.0.

      • The money addicted oligarchs need to be reigned in.

        I agree with you, but it ain't gonna happen.

        Short-sighted asymptotic greed has shoved America aside.

        The Golden Calf is here and God has left the fucking building.

    • Is there anything they won't rape for money?

      No, there's nothing they won't do in pursuit of a dollar or to curry favor with corporations.

      Why are Republicans so hateful? This is a blatant slap in the face to every person that uses the internet, and yet they were all salivating to get this passed. Their constituent are supposed to be the ones who hate the gubmint and all of its surveillance tools, but did any of them object to this? Not that I heard.

  • by gweilo8888 ( 921799 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @04:44PM (#54130209)
    ...and is the interests of nobody but a few of the obscenely wealthy. The Republican party no longer even pretends to give a shit about the poor and middle class, and yet we keep giving them power. It has to end.
    • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

      While I don't approve of this outcome at all, the browsing habits of the wealthy are up for sale just like the rest.

    • by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @04:51PM (#54130289)
      yet we keep giving them power.

      Not "we". It's the dummies. If we had an educated populace, it wouldn't be happening. The obscenely wealthy wouldn't have the votes.
      • by Nethemas the Great ( 909900 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @06:16PM (#54130969)
        An ignorant, distracted populace is a malleable populace. Think it not strange that the wealthiest nation on the planet has such an ineffectual educational system?
      • by Kabukiwookie ( 2677869 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @06:24PM (#54131019)

        This is the result of the 'user pays' mentality that seems to have the US in its grip. Something that even a lot of fairly well educated people adhere to, because they're in a good position and they really don't care what happens to anyone else. This is extremely short-sighted behaviour

        Free (or at least affordable) health care and education are not communist plots, they're a necessity to ensure you have an educated and healthy population that is able to resist power grabs from the wealthy, such as the one happening (has already happened) in the US. Anywhere where neo-liberalists are preaching austerity and 'user pays', the same pattern can be seen.

        If you don't give a damn about someone else's fate, eventually you'll live in a society where people will no longer give a damn about your fate either.

    • The rule's only been around since October, so things have reverted to the same rule in effect for eight years under Obama. I agree this is a bad thing, but a lot of selectively outraged partisans are exposing themselves right now.
      • So we spend years begging for a bone. We finally get it only to have it prized from our jaws moments after tasting its meaty goodness. Outraged? Oh hell yes we're outraged.
    • Hey moron, ISPs have been able to sell your anonymized data since forever. How have you been hurt by this?

      Oh, and those rules never went into effect. Doh!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Or is there a date at which point than can begin collecting your soul (I mean data) and selling it?

    • This is the question I am really interested in. Since the law mandated they had to store this information, are they going to go back and comb through what they have on file?
      • Probably, yes. Better yet, the government snoopers don't need a warrant unless the warrants are in denominations of $100 each.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by clonehappy ( 655530 )

      I see you've bought the outrage of the day bait. Two minutes hate, if you will.

      Anyway, the ISPs could always sell your data. There has never been an enforced law or regulation that stopped them, like any internet company, from selling the data you willingly give them or which passes across their networks.

      Some regulations were put into place last year (but never enforced, mind you) that would have prevented ISPs from selling certain data about you. Note that other internet companies, like Facebook, Google, e

  • Ouch... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @04:47PM (#54130241)
    Was there lube? I didn't feel any lube.

    This idea that all senators and reps are terrible - except mine has got to go. We are all continually being bent over. Vote all of them out.

    • Re:Ouch... (Score:5, Informative)

      by fiannaFailMan ( 702447 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @04:51PM (#54130291) Journal

      Was there lube? I didn't feel any lube.

      This idea that all senators and reps are terrible - except mine has got to go. We are all continually being bent over. Vote all of them out.

      Ugh. Vote the Republicans out, dum dum! Can you not see that the Democrats voted against this abomination? This "one side is as bad as the other" bullshit is what got Trump elected in the first place.

      • Re:Ouch... (Score:5, Informative)

        by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @04:56PM (#54130339)
        Both sides have sold out. To slightly different bidders, but certainly not to you or I. While the dems may have -some- policies that I agree with more being that I am fairly liberal, that does not mean that the current crop are not bought and corrupt. No matter how they voted on this legislation.
      • Re:Ouch... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @05:39PM (#54130729) Journal

        This "one side is as bad as the other" bullshit is what got Trump elected in the first place.

        I would like to take this moment to remind everyone that there is this thing called a primary election. During the primary election, you can vote for who you want to see in the general election. Traditionally, primary elections have low turnout, so your vote will have more influence.

        Even if you don't identify with a political party, vote in the primary. I even suggest voting in the primary of the party you identify with the least. Perhaps that would result in some moderate candidates in the general election.

  • With the records ISPs will be building on people, any kind of profiling will become easy. Have had an impure thought? Your ISP will know!

    IMO, that must the the actual reason behind this anti-citizen action.

    • If ever a Hitler gains power, it will make it easy to round up the Jews (or whoever the next lot of scapegoats are). Thr census will also become irrelevant. Simply gain access to this data.

    • Have had an impure thought? Your ISP will know!

      True, but much more likely people will be flagged on suspicion of copyright violations. They could perhaps sell impure thoughts to extortionists, if they can find some who will pay, but ISP's can make more money selling out your efforts to download that unlicensed copy of that Disney movie. Some nice arrangement between the MPAA, the RIAA, and a consortium of ISP's willingly providing their data about you for the noble cause of fighting piracy (the evil-looking eagle says "Piracy is not a Victimless Crime"

  • Nothing new here (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Nothing new here... ISPs used to be able to do this, until an Obama-era regulation blocked it in October, 2016. This just returns us to the prior status. See here [arstechnica.com]

    • ISPs with at least 100,000 customers will have 12 months after rules are published in the Federal Register to comply with the customer notice and choice requirements, while ISPs with fewer than 100,000 customers will be given an extra 12 months. ISPs will have 90 days to comply with new data security requirements and six months to comply with new data breach notification requirements.

      Oh look at that. It's questionable whether any had even implemented it yet.

    • Re:Nothing new here (Score:5, Informative)

      by Headw1nd ( 829599 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @05:03PM (#54130419)
      No, this is incorrect. The key feature is that the ISPs used to be under FTC jurisdiction, who has rules in place covering user data. When the ISPs were declared common carriers, oversight of them was moved from the FTC to the FCC. Now the FTC has no jurisdiction over the ISPs, only the FCC does - and the FCC has essentially been banned from regulating them where user data is concerned.

      Common carrier rules could be abolished, and regulation of ISPs could be moved back to the FTC, but that would take time and have other negative consequences.

  • of winning.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @04:54PM (#54130313)

    If your records are for sale to anybody, no warrants will be required for any government agency to purchase them.

    For all their empty talk of "freedom", the Republican party sure seems to love authoritarian rule.

    • Hey ISP I want all your customer records for anyone who accessed XX between 7:00 and 10:00 on Tuesday. And yes, I have warrants. I have warrants in denominations of $50 and $100.
  • by mdm-adph ( 1030332 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @04:56PM (#54130329)

    ...how many more Mbps can I get? Hey, Comcast, are you listening? The quicker I surf, the more info you get, so how about ramping up those speeds.

  • You know if you purchased the internet history of the politicians and then showed it to them (or everyone), they might see this issue differently.
  • Thank You, Sir. May I have Another?

  • by dave562 ( 969951 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @04:58PM (#54130355) Journal

    Teh internets watch you.

  • by Kernel Kurtz ( 182424 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @04:59PM (#54130373) Homepage

    is now basically a requirement in America.

    You will be better off in the end. Protect yourself from your ISP and get the added bonus of protection from the RIAA/MPAA etc as well. Like a two for one deal.

  • by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @05:05PM (#54130437)

    Who follows the rules now? How many of you actually have read the TOS for your ISP? It's privacy policy?

    Unless you know what's going on to start with and have taken extreme measures to avoid it, you are already being tracked every which way from Sunday. So your ISP now can packet sniff your traffic? Big woop...

    If you care to keep your ISP in the dark, best you arrange to have a VPN connection 100% of the time for all your traffic. But I would expect that you are constantly ditching your browser cookies, never log in to anything, don't use E-mail or any protocol that is unencrypted now...

    The ONLY compliant anybody has here is that your ISP keeping these records might make it easier for law enforcement to get this information. Even so, that will take a warrant, unless you ISP just gives up any information they have to law enforcement when they ask, even if they don't say please...

    • It is almost trivial to kill cookies (self-destructing cookies firefox plugin) and use an email provider that doesn't profile you. Yes many people do this now. Setting up a VPN just to keep your own ISP from selling your profile is ridiculous, but now apparently necessary.
  • by darkain ( 749283 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @05:17PM (#54130545) Homepage

    As Slashdot's resident and probably only Opera Browser user, I'd just like to remind ya'll that the browser has built-in out of the box support for VPN access. There is no complicated or confusing setups. It just works. And remember, Opera Browser is also based on Chrome/Chromium nowadays, so the rendering engine and interface is essentially the same as Chrome otherwise. Additionally, Ad-block is also built in, instead of requiring ad-ons.

    Details: http://www.opera.com/computer/... [opera.com]

  • by The Grim Reefer ( 1162755 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @05:18PM (#54130555)

    From what I understand the privacy rules set forth by the FCC under president Obama haven't gone into effect yet. So I'm not sure what's changed from what we have today. Granted, it's a crap thing to do, but ISP's have had the ability to do this for as long as they've existed as far as I know.

    Hasn't Google and Facebook been monetizing their users in a similar way? And would have been able to continue to do so even if the privacy rules were left in place? If my ISP is going to make money off of me, I should at least get a discount on my monthly bill though. That's the biggest difference I can see. I actually pay my ISP, where I use Google for free.

  • From the headline of an article that came up in a Google Search, which I will not link to nor did I click:

    "House Votes Tuesday to Restore Consistent Online Privacy Regulation"

    Fuck tolerance, those people just need to be driven off the goddamn internet. It's too good for them to ruin.

  • exemptions? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WillgasM ( 1646719 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @05:31PM (#54130679) Homepage
    Did they write in any exemptions for themselves? I'm sure if we just release every congress-critter's search history, they'll have a change of heart.
  • How about a script that fetches a random URL once per second?

    Putting junk into the data makes it hard to get anything useful out of it. That plus some use of VPNs.

  • Guess it's time to get off the couch and find a good VPN. Don't forget to help your friends and neighbors.

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