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Privacy Verizon Businesses Communications Government The Internet United States

Verizon Wants To Ban States From Protecting Your Privacy (dslreports.com) 183

DSLReports that Verizon sent a letter and white paper last week to the FCC, insisting that "the FCC has ample authority to pre-empt state efforts to protect consumer privacy, and should act to prevent states from doing so." Verizon's letter reads in part: "Allowing every State and locality to chart its own course for regulating broadband is a recipe for disaster. It would impose localized and likely inconsistent burdens on an inherently interstate service, would drive up costs, and would frustrate federal efforts to encourage investment and deployment by restoring the free market that long characterized Internet access service." From the report: But there's several things Verizon is ignoring here. One being that the only reason states are trying to pass privacy laws is because Verizon lobbyists convinced former Verizon lawyer and FCC boss Ajit Pai that it was a good idea to kill the FCC's relatively modest rules. It's also worth noting that ISPs like Verizon (and the lawmakers paid to love them) have cried about protecting "states rights" when states try to pass protectionist laws hamstringing competitors, but in this case appears eager to trample those same state rights should states actually try and protect consumers. Verizon makes it abundantly clear it's also worried that when the FCC votes to kill net neutrality rules later this year, states will similarly try to pass their own rules protecting consumers, something Verizon clearly doesn't want. "States and localities have given strong indications that they are prepared to take a similar approach to net neutrality laws if they are dissatisfied with the result of the Restoring Internet Freedom proceeding," complains Verizon, again ignoring that its lawsuits are the reason that's happening.
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Verizon Wants To Ban States From Protecting Your Privacy

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  • Gotta love the USA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sit1963nz ( 934837 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2017 @06:28PM (#55466641)
    "Restoring Internet Freedom" etc etc etc You just know when they use world like this it means the exact opposite, sort of the like "Peoples Democratic Republic of North Korea"
    • by Anonymous Coward

      ... for corporations, not for consumers.

      Halloween-by-car is not a tradition. It's perverse. GO AWAY!

    • Yea, if they'd have stuck "For The Patriotic Children" to the end, it would be a grand slam.

    • I'm pretty sure their idea of "freedom" is just the ability for them to be able to do anything practically anything they want.

      Stupid, I know, but the freedom for corporations to f*ck people over technically qualifies as a form of freedom.
    • "Affordable Care Act", "Patritic Act", "Dreamers Act"

      It's all just trips that people fall for because they assume the title is written by honest people.

    • What's scary here isn't the fact that a company would want to promote its self-interest here, but rather the mindset that it's appealing to and that might well agree with it.
  • by Narcocide ( 102829 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2017 @06:29PM (#55466647) Homepage

    We should make it illegal for Verizon to send shit to the FCC, period. No cash. No gifts. No threats, suggestions, hints, love letters, junk mail, or flowers. This has go to stop. Just shut the fuck up, Verizon. Shut the fuck up now.

    • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2017 @06:50PM (#55466735) Homepage Journal

      ... and the day you have more money, er, I mean, "free speech" than Verizon, I am absolutely certain they will listen to you.

      • Then perhaps their spokespeople should be permanently and repeatedly SILENCED.

        Take the voice away from the people and the pitchforks and torches come out, and people start disappearing.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        What the US needs is a moderate party.
        A bi-partisan bloc that will accept anyone who thinks things are too extreme on "their side". You think the democrats are catering to Hollywood and the media too much sign in. You think the republicans are too pro-tax cuts, put your name down.
        Then, finally, there will be an impetus for parties to become more moderate. At the moment, everything in US politics is pushing the two parties further apart, widen the line between "them" and "us". The reasonable people need to s

      • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
        money is speech, didn't you know that?

        Let's fix that. [movetoamend.org]
    • Ok. Did Ajit come with a return address?

    • Too late because Verizon is a person.

      See Citizens United [cornell.edu].

      In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations and unions have the same political speech rights as individuals under the First Amendment. It found no compelling government interest for prohibiting corporations and unions from using their general treasury funds to make election-related independent expenditures.

      • That does not make them people.

        What objective and fair justification can you give for restricting an individual's right of free speech? (Hint: There is none.)
        What objective and fair justification can you give for restricting a group's right of free speech? (Hint: A group, such as a corporation, is a collection of individuals.)

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I forgot who said it originally, but I'll believe that a corporation is a person when Texas executes one.

        • by Desler ( 1608317 )

          The objective and fair reasoning is that it corrupts the electoral process such that only those with the most money get listened to.

          • That's neither objective nor fair.

            Define the corruption and quantify it.
            Then show how it is fair to restrict groups of people from spending money to speak while not restricting an individual from doing the same (which you cannot due because of that bill of rights thingy).

            Money in politics is absolutely a problem. But there's no easy way to stop it without shitting on the constitution.

      • by davecb ( 6526 )
        Formed groups have "coalition" rights. It's not clear if they have the same rights as individuals, though... (in Canada)
    • We should make it illegal

      Only members of the legislature can make activities illegal in The United States. You probably don't get that because you are an idiot, but that must insensitive of me.

    • That would violate the principle of no taxation without representation. Since Verizon can't vote, the only alternative form of representation for them is lobbying and campaign contributions. If you don't like it, then you can choose between not taxing Verizon, or deciding taxation without representation is in fact OK and the U.S. colonies were unjustified in rebelling against the British Empire.

      Personally I prefer the former since corporations are just organizations - dotted lines you draw around a grou
  • if both do the "same thing", then it's nationwide.
  • The FCC GtH (Score:3, Insightful)

    by norman bates ( 4808897 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2017 @06:48PM (#55466721)
    The current climate has allowed the FCC to regulate and "protect" people's privacy. The problem with the FCC doing it is their agenda changes via administrations and corporate meddling. Of course providers are going to get testy when states take matters in their own hands and regulate things the proper way via 10th Amendment and using a legislature, instead of a regulatory independent agency and an executive branch that chooses the regulatory body which violates the constitution and opens the door for abuse. The FCC must die and states must take matters into their own hands and get the federal government out of it as much as possible. That is where true freedom is going to come from (sorry net neutrality was never that avenue) and it is the duty of the each People of the each state to hold their state government bodies accountable when they try to follow in the footsteps the federal government has shown.
    • The Tenth Amendment says that stuff that's not a Federal responsibility, like interstate commerce, is to be handled by the states or the people. Interstate commerce is most definitely a Federal concern. Congress can, and has, passed laws so that the FCC can make regulations that must be obeyed. There is absolutely nothing about this that is unconstitutional.

      Given a lack of competition, Net Neutrality is the only way to allow people to choose freely where they want to go on the Net.

  • Bluexit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2017 @07:01PM (#55466765) Journal

    States Rights are just about the only Constitutional thing protecting normal states from the corporate nazis in Washington DC.

    • normal states

      Which ones are the "normal states"?

    • I am pretty sure that the corporations are happy to fund election campaigns for state level politicians, just like they are for federal ones.
      I imagine you get more bang for your buck at the federal level, but if a state starts to legislate against corporate interests (whatever the industry might happen to be), then I am sure a well funded opponent will pop up.
      I am also sure this [vice.com]didn't happen by accident.
    • Interstate commerce very clearly covers Internet access. And its within the domain of the Federal Government.
      • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

        Last-mile access isn't. States should ban Verizon from offering service in their state until Verizon is ready to follow local laws.

    • States rights is an outdated concept that was destroyed in the civil war. Seems you morons didn't learn your lesson the first time. Don't forget we left a mile wide streak of destruction through rebel territory the last time you tried it. We'll do it again.
      • You do realize the Confederates are in charge in Washington this time, do you not?

        • The United States is indivisible. We will crush you rebel scum if you try anything. Don't dare. We did it before and we'll do it again.

          The Democrats were the rebels before and looks like they're going to try it again. Seriously, the Democratic Party just needs to cease to exist. It doesn't represent anyone but corporate donors and identity politics grievance-mongers.

  • Government by the Corporation for the Corporation. The Corporation is Mother, the Corporation if Father.
  • Thank Trump Voters (Score:5, Informative)

    by speedlaw ( 878924 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2017 @07:13PM (#55466809) Homepage
    So far, freedom has meant allowing a destruction of net neutrality...allowing ISP to sell your browser history, and destruction of locally sourced news so some anodyne studio can put out bland non-news like radio DJs. I get that you wanted a shit disturber, but the only disturbance is allowing Companies to do whatever they want...not even a bone tossed to the rest of us. Thanks, flyover.
    • Maybe next time you won't let things get so bad that we feel we have no other choice. Hillary was going to put an end to us. At least now you know what it's like to have a government that doesn't represent your interests, which had been our position for quite some time. Sucks, doesn't it? Get better. Represent our interests in government and this won't happen again. Though I doubt you've learned anything, the democrats are just doubling down on divisive identify politics.
      • funnyman
      • You really think Trump represents your interests? Trump literally has no interests except making Trump richer, period. You chuckleheads are just a means to an end. There were other people on the ballot besides Trump and Clinton, and you chose the worst of all of them. Yeah, you really showed America how intelligent you are...
        • Despite what the Slashdot hivemind says Trump's policies are largely reasonable - moderate, mildly-libertarian conservatism combined with economic nationalism, both an antidote to the aggressive globalist neoliberalism which has been crammed down our collective throats for 30-odd years. He takes on very strong right wing positions on some things, say illegal immigration and dealing with Islamic terrorism, but he's not a Bible thumping ideologue that the GOP has been moving towards in the recent years. He wa

      • "Hillary was going to put an end to us."

        Who are "us" and what exactly was the Wicked Witch of Arkansas going to do that would "put an end" to you?

    • I'm infuriated with Ajit Pai and the demise of net neutrality, but let's take this in the context of mass surveillance and extra judicial executions, and "we came, we saw, he died" in terms of wars of aggression. Given the paid speeches bribery and avoidance of releasing transcripts, there's no reason to expect that a hefty donation to the Clinton Foundation would not have resulted in a similar outcome with the FCC. Public and private positions, after all.

      Where playing the condescending blame game is reall

  • If Team - A ( Congress ) can't come up with a plan to protect everyone's privacy, then Team - B ( The States ) will do it themselves.

    The latter is likely to create a regulatory minefield for the players in question, so it would be in their best interests to pressure Team - A to get off their ass and do their job.

    Considering the current Congress track record of doing anything GOOD for anyone ( other than themselves ) you might hire some minesweepers for you.

    Have fun.

  • Everybody makes encrypted connections to an exchange and no data ever leaves that exchange in the clear. It doesn't store anything and only connects encrypted tunnel end points. Kind of like a VPN, if you could only talk to other users of the same VPN, except that's everybody so it's no problem. A big part of the internet is relayed through big commercial internet exchanges, so this wouldn't be very different from today's internet, except none of the providers could see what they're carrying.

  • Free market ideology only works when the playing field is level... not when monopolies exist
    • by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

      Free market ideology only works when the playing field is level... not when monopolies exist

      It's a fact that free-ish markets have produced the best results in economic history (even reducing poverty) despite the shortcomings like the one you mentioned where clever big picture thinkers game the system in ways that weren't intended, economic game theory style. That is not a rational justification to abolish the free market system we have and institute a completely different system. I don't think any free market economist in their right mind ever suggested the inmates ought to run the asylum aka t

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Republicans are all about a small, limited Federal government, with control be handled at the state and local level. Consistent with this, the FCC will never interfere with local efforts to protect privacy.

    • Regulating interstate commerce is an enumerated power. Even the most hardcore Constitutionalists will not argue that regulating the Internet is outside of the domain of the Federal Government.
      • by tsqr ( 808554 )

        Regulating interstate commerce is an enumerated power. Even the most hardcore Constitutionalists will not argue that regulating the Internet is outside of the domain of the Federal Government.

        Specious: apparently good or right though lacking real merit. Even the most hardcore Constitutionalists will not argue that regulating railroad trains is outside of the domain of the Federal Government, yet California has many train regulations enforced by the Caliifornia Public Utilities Commission.

        • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

          yet California has many train regulations enforced by the Caliifornia Public Utilities Commission.

          As long as they don't contradict federal train regulations. If those clash, I'm sure you know which side wins.

          • by tsqr ( 808554 )

            yet California has many train regulations enforced by the Caliifornia Public Utilities Commission.

            As long as they don't contradict federal train regulations. If those clash, I'm sure you know which side wins.

            Of course. But in the case of the ISP customer privacy regulations, the FCC proposal is to get rid of the regulations. State regulations don't conflict with Federal regulations if the Federal regulations don't exist.

  • I'm not sure where the representatives of We The People have gone. Anyone seen any around D.C. lately?
    • by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

      I'm not sure where the representatives of We The People have gone. Anyone seen any around D.C. lately?

      Last time I checked you, me and everyone else are "We The People". I suspect "We The People" are busy posting on slashdot, commuting to and from our jobs, raising families and we're just SO BUSY that we don't have time to get engaged in the affairs of our own country in any real, meaningful way. We seem to have incredible amounts of time to incessantly complain online and to our friends and families but when it comes to really getting engaged and taking collective ownership of our own country, we pass the

  • It's an overreach of FCC power if it goes against his current bankroller... er, Verizon Wireless... when it comes to Net Neutrality. But the FCC can now override the 10th Amendment of the Constitution??

    What balls on that FCC chairman... Unbelievable.

    • The Tenth Amendment says that powers not reserved to the Federal government, like interstate commerce, which the net is, go to the states or the people. The FCC doesn't override the Tenth, because the Tenth doesn't apply.

  • Verizon's letter reads in part: "Allowing every State and locality to chart its own course for regulating broadband is a recipe for disaster. It would impose localized and likely inconsistent burdens on an inherently interstate service, would drive up costs, and would frustrate federal efforts..."

    This line of reasoning could also be used for taking away most of the state rights. Inconsistent set of rules across states for roads, criminal justice, elections... Taken to an extreme, UN should be making rules for everybody.

  • In Europe before the EU if a large corporation wanted to lobby for something unpopular it had to do it with national governments. So in the UK that meant it needed to lobby MPs. MPs are of course elected and know that, in theory if they backed something highly unpopular they could be challenged. Of course this doesn't really limit scope for corruption much in practice but there have still been cases where MPs flipped their stance on a law because of its unpopularity. Governments have failed to pass unpopula

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      So in the UK that meant it needed to lobby MPs. MPs are of course elected and know that,

      But in the USA, elections are a muti-million dollar business. In some cases, billions. With most of that money going to mainstream media outlets. Because of this, candidates are beholding to their funding sources to a much greater degree than in most other true democracies.

      One could propose a system where media outlets (many under the regulatory authority of the FCC) would have to contribute free air time to candidates, freeing them from much of their fundraising needs and resulting quid-pro-quos. But the

  • 1) Don't snoop.
    2) If your business plan requires you to snoop, refer to item 1.

  • If a large corporation is requesting specific regulations, the best course of action for the average American is to give them the opposite.

    Most of the basic rules for fairness have been in place for years; new requests usually lead to profiteering, abuse of customers, or restriction of competition. It looks like Verizon is aiming for two of those things.

  • It's about personal property. My property happens to include my data. I might be hiring an ISP to move it for me, just like I'd hire a moving company to pack and haul my household effects. But it's still all mine. Verizon can't have it. And the FCC has nothing to say about it other than to set down rules for how it will be moved. Just like the USDOT regulates the trucking industry.

  • So if each state can set their own standards, companies will either default to high privacy standards that apply in all states, or they will have to spend inordinate amounts of money to find and exploit loopholes, right?

    What's the downside?

  • We need a quick review of the history here to see that the Slashdot article misses key parts of the story.

    Previously, the Federal Trade Commission regulated tech companies to protect consumer privacy.

    Then the last chairman pushed forward Title II classification which stripped the FTC of their jurisdiction, killing those privacy protections and replacing them with weaker protections under the FCC.

    Pai is pushing to revert that change, working with the FTC to restore the stronger consumer protections. Technica

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