Democrats and their mouthpieces have made this resolution a screaming point today. What they have to say may only be part of the truth. So before we all freak out, let’s consider what we know.
First, FCC has overstepped on several issues just like other Obama-led agencies in an attempt to usurp law. Just like others, the effect of their attempt to “make” law without knowing how it affects the broader base economically or our citizens, without studying all of the issues, and in order to appear more important than other agencies has resulted in a stalled and overburdened populace who are inundated with reams of rules some of which obfuscate, nullify, or confuse issues with others passed into law by Congress and already in place.
Second, the Democrats are in such a state of panic that they are doing everything possible to stir trouble and discord in Congress and the communities.
S.J.Res.34 – 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 passed in a party line vote in the Senate today with Republicans voting 50 to Democrat 48.
Taken at face value and with MSM deliberately coloring the issue, I have to admit I was ready to bite. Considering we have so many in government like the FBI passing out personal information left and right, my first thought was — What right do internet providers or even government officials have to use OUR personal information WITHOUT our permission for personal or political gain as the Democrats are alleging?
The FCC rule being referred to is FCC 16-148, WC Docket No. 16-106 which they put into place on November 2, 2016. It was based off Communications Act of 1934, as amended. Section 222 requires telecommunications carriers to protect the confidentiality of customer proprietary information. They arbitrarily reclassed BIAS as telecommunications service rather than placing it properly in the hands of Congress as a bill for consideration. They decided that FCC should override Congress, the FTC, and other agencies and make their own law.
Customers must be empowered to decide how broadband providers may use and share their data. Sensitive customer PI includes financial information, health information, Social Security numbers, precise geo-location information, information pertaining to children, content of communications, web browsing history, application usage history, and the functional equivalents of web browsing history or application usage history. Call detail information is sensitive information.
Testimony before U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation – July 12, 2016
—Dean Garfield, President and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) Against the FCC ruling.
Problem areas in this ruling:
(1) The FCC’s lack of legal authority to regulate ITI’s companies, including “OTT” or “Edge” providers- ITI’s companies are not subject to the FCC’s jurisdiction under Title II (Net Neutrality) and under the Open Internet Order adopted last year;
(2) the inconsistency of the FCC’s proposed privacy regulations with consumer expectations;
(3) the broader inconsistency of the FCC’s proposed privacy regulations with existing privacy authorities, frameworks and enforcement regimes, as embodied in the Federal Trade Commission’s well-established approach to privacy; and
(4) ITI’s concern that the proposed rules will establish negative precedents that will ultimately adversely impact consumers, businesses, and the global policy ecosystem.
Actually I do agree with the FCC premise that customers should decide and what sensitive information is included.
However, just this week we have discovered that even though Congress has passed laws to protect our rights, the FBI and other intelligence agencies are accumulating facial recognition and other data on US citizens much like some science fiction oligarchy. Not only that but some in the agencies have decided their leaking classified data overrides federal law. Which lends itself to the questions – What else have they been doing? What else are they not telling us?
So is the alarm over disapproval of FCC’s rule justified in S.J.Res.34? Believe the Democrats, umm not sure that works for me. There was a lot of controversy at the end of last year about how FCC was overstepping its bounds. You decide.
Given the continued and unreasoning attacks of the leftists, we need to be vigilant and Congress a bit more forthcoming on rulings they are countering so there is less alarm and more understanding.