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Electronic Frontier Foundation Government The Internet United States

American ISPS Are Now Fighting State Broadband Privacy Proposals (eff.org) 74

The EFF complains that "the very companies who spent millions of dollars lobbying in D.C. to repeal our federal broadband privacy rights are now fighting state attempts to protect consumers because they supposedly prefer a federal rule." The EFF urges Californians to phone their state senator ahead of a crucial back-to-back committee hearings on Tuesday. An anonymous reader writes: "Congress stole your online privacy. Let's seize it back," begins an email that the EFF is sending to California supporters. It warns that "Big Telecom has massive amounts of money to spend on an army of lobbyists. But if Internet users from across California unite with one voice, we can defeat their misinformation campaign... Don't let the big ISPs coopt our privacy."

The EFF's site points out that more than 83% of Americans support the privacy regulations which were repealed in March by the U.S. Congress, according to a new poll released last week. That's even more than the 77% of Americans who support keeping current net neutrality protections in place, according to the same poll. The EFF now hopes that California's newly-proposed legislation could become a model for privacy-protecting laws in other states. And back in Silicon Valley, the San Jose Mercury News writes that California "has an obligation to take a lead in establishing the basic privacy rights of consumers using the Internet. Beyond being the right thing to do for the whole country, building trust in tech products is an essential long-term business strategy for the industry that was born in this region."

The EFF has also compiled an interesting list of past instances where ISPs have already tried to exploit the personal information of their customers for profit.
Here's some of the highlights from the EFF's list:
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American ISPS Are Now Fighting State Broadband Privacy Proposals

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  • Well of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Monday July 17, 2017 @06:54AM (#54824491)
    Centralization works in favor of the plutocrats - only one person to bribe instead of 50.
    • by swb ( 14022 )

      This is prime example of the paradox of the domination of regulation by the Federal government. It's economically more efficient to have a single standard to follow. In theory, more efficiency should lead to lower prices and greater competition.

      But in practice, it seems to lead to regulatory capture, monopoly-like conditions and rent-seeking.

      • Re:Well of course (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hord ( 5016115 ) <jhord@carbon.cc> on Monday July 17, 2017 @08:43AM (#54825063)

        Theories never take into account human irrationality or the desire for inefficient outcomes. It's always assumed that pure, utilitarian goals are the norm and that actors are infallible or immediately held accountable for poor performance. Reality reflects none of these assumptions and any theory that only attempts to explain the world through simple maximums and minimums cannot be correct by definition because it complete erases individual preference and experience.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Centralization works in favor of the plutocrats - only one person to bribe instead of 50.

      Yeah, not so much. You often hear the words "states' rights" in plutocratic propoganda, and that's because when regulation isn't the way big business wants it, it's much easier to push over a state government than it is the federal. See: Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Too many asleep while privacy was being destroyed. How many embrace sites like Facebook or Google and yet complain about ISP's? Really? What's the difference? Sure 83% support privacy but only 10% or less actually do much about it. How about smart meters on your house? Telling the electrical companies about your usage. Or the NSA collecting phone data, or the constant barrage of hackers stealing data from companies that promised to protect your information. Privacy is a joke its a oxy moron when its referre

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Privacy CAN NEVER DIE, simply because privacy is a NEED, not a consumer product, nor is it a protection.

      So I think you sir are full of it, and by announcing the death of privacy and encouraging people to ignore privacy and "move on", you are imo lulling people into a sense of defeatism.

      For all I know, you could be someone that is actively lobbying against privacy as a right, as if you were then working for some government organization that prey on people's privacy, or worse. In that case, what you wrote the

      • by Anonymous Coward

        simply because privacy is a NEED

        A need that apparently no one actually needs. People aren't concerned about privacy. They're too busy blabbing about themselves on social media.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Consider human rights, supposed to be rights to all individuals, and just because you probably don't know much about, nor care about human rights as such, the instituted rights, doesn't mean such rights aren't needed, just because you and people you know don't seem to want to say that they need them.

      • So I think you sir are full of it, and by announcing the death of privacy and encouraging people to ignore privacy and "move on", you are imo lulling people into a sense of defeatism.

        This whole "privacy is dead" thing used to bug me too because I value my privacy pretty highly. It really means that if you want to use a lot of the modern tools we have available to us you have no choice but to give up your privacy.

        If you want to get directions to a destination you have to turn on location services on your phone which then sends your location to a server to generate the maps/directions. You have the same problem if you're a runner or cyclist who wants to track their workouts. All of th

        • by Anonymous Coward

          If you want to get directions to a destination you have to turn on location services on your phone which then sends your location to a server to generate the maps/directions. You have the same problem if you're a runner or cyclist who wants to track their workouts. All of the data is stored and processed somewhere else.

          Or you could use an offline maps app like OsmAnd~ [f-droid.org] and not need to use anything but GPS. (Even works on tablets.)

          If you install a messenger/comms app on your phone it wants to read your contac

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Don't give up. It is inch by inch, person by person that this battle can be won.

      I always rejoice when I can demonstrate to people how The Google is tracking them. Notice that mail in your inbox which "appears" right at the moment you get online? Notice how that stops once you use, say, ixquick or DuckDuckGo (or a handful of others)?

      There are those who respond "meh". Then there are those who switch search engine. Or mail provider. Or both.

      They are totally worth the effort.

    • How about smart meters on your house? Telling the electrical companies about your usage.

      Yes, before smart meters there was nothing that told the power company how much electricity you used.

      Oh wait....

      • by deesine ( 722173 )

        My gas company wanted to upgrade the meter, and gave me a choice, let us install it, or you'll pay more, like 4% more, can't remember what they called it. I told them I'll take two if I can get a discount.

        • Something similar happens with the water/sewer service where I live. If you don't have a water meter you get billed a (high) flat amount depending on the size of your property. If you have a meter installed, then you pay actual usage.

      • How about smart meters on your house? Telling the electrical companies about your usage.

        Yes, before smart meters there was nothing that told the power company how much electricity you used.

        Oh wait....

        Sure they know how much you use, they have to, to bill you. What they don't know is how much energy goes on your hoover, on your tv on your fridge or on your industrial sized electric butt plug.

    • Too many asleep while privacy was being destroyed. How many embrace sites like Facebook or Google and yet complain about ISP's? Really? What's the difference?

      Playing devil's advocate. I can use the internet without using Facebook or Google. I have a choice.

      I can't use the internet without using my state mandated monopoly ISP provider. I can't use an alternate source with better privacy because the government granted them a monopoly.

    • by Evtim ( 1022085 )

      Well, /. is not doing better. As of few days I am unable to see any content while using the Adblocker mobile browser. This is not the first time....sure if I fire any other browser it works fine [fine; definition - half the screen full with ads]. Disabling the blocker for /. only did not work either. No idea what is going on but over the years I saw time and again sites that at a certain moment refuse to serve me if try using even meager ad and privacy protection software.

      Even on the desktop it is not well

      • Find the slashdot classic setting buried in settings. I use slashdot like it is 2007 none of the Web 2.0 crap that screws up and slows doing browsing. Back to original style threading etc.

        I have to stay logged in but if I do that then ad blocker works fine.

  • by zifn4b ( 1040588 ) on Monday July 17, 2017 @07:36AM (#54824679)
    Of course they would fight this. Selling your data is a revenue stream and it's very popular these days.
  • by sootman ( 158191 ) on Monday July 17, 2017 @12:29PM (#54826783) Homepage Journal

    ... because the plural of "ISP" is ISPs.

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