This bill was so unpopular that only 11% of Americans thought he should sign it. It was so unpopular that 74% of Americans thought he should veto it.

This bill was not one of Trump’s campaign promises, and it wasn’t part of the Republican Party platform. I can only assume it was a bought and paid for deal.

I’m speaking, of course, of the bill that allows your Internet service provider to collect pretty much any information it wants, including quite possibly the contents of what goes into and out of your house on the Internet, and the physical locations of you and your family members, and sell that information to the highest bidder.

Unlike so many of Trump’s other signings (of bills or executive orders) this one was done in a back room somewhere. But, somehow, we still know he did it!

As noted on The Hill:

Politico first reported that Trump had signed the bill Monday evening.
The bill caused an uproar when it passed the House and Senate last month, with critics accusing Republicans of selling their constituents’ privacy.

“It’s shocking that of all the challenges facing this country the Trump administration would prioritize taking away people’s privacy,” said Craig Aron, CEO of the advocacy group Free Press.

“There is literally no public support for this bill. Its only advocates are the nation’s biggest phone, cable and Internet companies. There’s no longer any question — if there ever was — whose needs this administration intends to serve. But people everywhere are on high alert to the serious threat to the free and open Internet. And they will fight back.”

The hatred for this Republican war on privacy, signed by the Republican president Donald Trump, is as bipartisan as it gets. Among Democrats, 9% wanted the bill signed, 80% vetoed, with 11% not sure. Among Republicans, 14% wanted it signed, 75% wanted it vetoed, with 11% not sure. Among so called Independents, the breakdown was 10-69-21.

The poll is here.

Comments

  1. #1 MikeN
    April 5, 2017

    Why haven’t the internet companies done this already? This was a new regulation that is being overturned. Why weren’t they doing it before? I think the description of the bill, which is something I am against, likely does not match what the bill really does.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    April 5, 2017

    It is a little more complicated than being generally described. What Trump signed was a bill vacating an Obama protection that had been added to stop the ISPs from taking the next steps in accessing data. That was a “new” bill (not a regulation) but there had been previous regulatory efforts as well. I’m not sure that they weren’t doing it before, and if they weren’t, whyn’t.

    Sometimes a new bill explicitly removes an old bill, which would mean the removal of the new bill effectively undoes both. Not sure if this is the case here.

    I haven’t researched these details because the point of this post is about what people want Trump to do/not do vs. what he does. I do know that people in the tech and information community (activists on the protection of freedom side) are pretty unhappy about this.

  3. #3 MikeN
    April 5, 2017

    This is the Comcast side of the argument. Not convincing, but if they hadn’t been doing it before, then that is pretty significant.
    http://thehill.com/policy/technology/326707-att-comcast-defend-repeal-of-internet-privacy-rules

    There was lots of msinformation about 10 years ago that Republicans were repealing Net Neutrality. John Dvorak was one of the leaders, and I got him to realize that there was nothing being repealed. Merely in that case they weren’t passing what the activists wanted them to pass. The only thing that was then neutral was because the companies weren’t doing what people were saying was going to happen because of the Republicans.
    It looks the same now, though there is something actually being repealed. I don’t find corporate promises promising, but it is the case that they haven’t done it to date.

  4. #4 Magma
    April 5, 2017

    To be fair, there was probably bags of cash to be had in one form or another, so that makes it all ok.

  5. #5 Zach
    April 6, 2017

    I keep reading proponents of this bill saying “oh it’s not what it looks like.” I’m open to hearing what it actually is, because so far I’m only being told what it is not by them and not how it benefits consumers.

  6. #6 MikeN
    April 6, 2017

    There is not much benefit to consumers, except for possibly lower prices, the same way Google is free, because you are the product being sold. What the bill does is keep the privacy rules with the FTC only, instead of letting FCC rule over ISPs while the search engines and Facebook can keep profiles on you are sell targeted ads.

  7. #7 GregH
    April 7, 2017

    Anyone care to speculate on the effects for those of us who live outside of the US but use US-based services like Google?

  8. #8 MikeN
    April 7, 2017

    The bill doesn’t affect Google much, except others the same power as Google. They are already targeting you with ads, and are not subject to the requirements being repealed.

  9. #9 Kamal LuQmaan
    United States
    April 7, 2017

    .Make fake news a crime and the initiator lible!

  10. #10 William Hurley
    April 16, 2017

    It’s important to recognize that when using the web, every service you touch, every network you cross, every click you make is fodder for the companies “providing” you your web experience to enhance their productization of you.

    Yes, you – you are the product. You (in the virtual body of your data and telemetry) are what businesses sell to their true customers – being advertisers, data brokers, security consultants and many others. The options you’re offered to customize and/or personalize your experience are nothing more than a menu of features – each tagged with a distinct $$$ value – that the true service provider customers can pick-and-chose from.