‘A good thing’: Sen. Jeff Flake defends blocking Internet privacy rule

By Dan Nowicki | The Republic

(Editor’s Note: Sen. McCain and Flake voted today to defund Planned Parenthood, which passed 51-50.)

Sen. Jeff Flake is defending as “a good thing” his legislation that would block the Obama administration’s Internet privacy protections from ever going into effect.

If President Donald Trump signs it, as he is expected to do, telecommunications giants such as Cox, Verizon, AT&T and Comcast can, without asking, keep tabs on consumers’ Web-surfing and phone-app habits and peddle that information to advertisers and marketers.

The congressional action to snuff the rule, which Flake has called a “midnight regulation” because it was enacted late in former President Barack Obama’s second term, has caused a furor among privacy advocates and consumer watchdogs.

Related: The House has voted to wipe away the FCC’s landmark Internet privacy protections; Lauren Reynolds, Rose Law Group litigation attorney who focuses on privacy and data breach issues, comments

Thanks to Congress, “big Internet providers will be given new powers to harvest your personal information in extraordinarily creepy ways,” Ernesto Falcon, legislative counsel for the San Francisco-based digital-rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation, said in a written statement. “They will watch your every action online and create highly personalized and sensitive profiles for the highest bidder. All without your consent.”

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