FCC Deregulation

By Meshach M.

On October 27, 2016, rules were placed on the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), an independent U.S. Government agency that regulates “interstate and international communications,” requiring Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to obtain permission from customers before selling personal information regarding internet usage. Individual computers connect to an ISP which then connects that computer to the internet.  Under the rules set in October, ISPs are not allowed to sell the information about users that pass through their services.

On March 7, 2017, a bill, called S.J. Res. 34, was introduced to the Senate.  This bill would reverse the rules placed on the FCC in October and allow ISPs to sell information from their customers.  On March 15, S.J. Res. 34 was introduced to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. It was passed without any amendments.  It then was put through the Senate on March 23 and passed with a 50-48 vote. Then, it passed through the House of Representatives on March 28, with a 215-205 vote.  On March 30, it was presented to the President.

On April 3, 2017, the bill was signed by President Trump and became law.  This will now reverse the rules put in place on the FCC in October by President Obama, and allow ISPs to sell information passed through their services.

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