Why Bill 34 is Bad News for Internet Privacy

Written by

The S.J.Res. 34 bill has effectively destroyed the privacy of internet users in the US and has taken the world by storm.

Titled “A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to "Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services", this will leave internet users from around the globe wondering whether their ISPs and governments are being honest to them or not.

An overview of the bill

The resolution was passed by the Senate and the House with quick resolve, and it now has Trump's seal of approval on it as well. The controversial resolution targets the online privacy of users in the US directly, and gives full authority to the ISPs to use the data as they see fit. This essentially means that they can sell your browser history to advertisers, and can easily make a quick buck without your consent or approval.

The resolution goes against the rules put forward by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) before the end of Obama's administration. These rules were meant to protect the online privacy of internet users, and to forbid ISPs when monitoring or selling this data.

Purpose and origin of the bill

Republican lawmakers have claimed that these controversial rules were put forward in order to give ISPs an edge, since they were treated unfairly in the past if compared to the likes of Netflix, Amazon and Google, who are not being regulated by the FCC.

The resolution was introduced by Senator Jeff Flake, and according to him the bill will restore a consumer-friendly approach to internet privacy regulations. He believes that it will 'empower' consumers to make informed decisions rather than take away their rights, or in his words: "it will not change or lessen existing consumer privacy protections".

The masses aren't pleased

Democrats along with several net-neutrality supporters have blasted Flake's claims, they argue that government oversight is required, but not at the expense of internet providers selling customers' browsing habits.

Apart from getting to know your deepest, darkest secrets, internet providers will be able to track just about anything you can think of. They can even track you while you are using incognito mode, which is unacceptable to say the least.

Privacy advocates have stated that it is the right of every internet user to have their data kept secure and private. But despite the resistance, President Trump is convinced that signing the legislation into law is a good move. This is why he signed the bill resistance from Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader.

Regardless of who is to blame, American internet users cannot afford to let this bill take its toll on their privacy. Keeping this in mind, privacy advocates have already started advising users to start using a USA VPN in order to stay safe and secure online.

Rest assured, the bill is not going to go anywhere anytime soon, but it does not mean users are left to fend for themselves, as several individuals including Google and several other companies are taking legal action against the bill.

What’s hot on Infosecurity Magazine?