US Congress Favors ISPs, Eliminates Restriction in Selling Clients’ Information

In a very surprising decision made by the US House of Representatives on Tuesday, they voted to roll back the guidelines during the Obama administration in terms of sharing information and data online. The Congress voted in favor of not requiring Internet providers to request for any permission when they sell browsing habits, shopping habits, medical data and even preferences for pornography.

This is now the latest news online after 215 representatives voted yes to allow Internet service providers (ISP) to sell information from their users without any restriction. The decision got the majority of the votes against the 205 representatives who voted no. However, this new guideline may take effect before 2017 ends and will need to determine the reactions of many web users once it authorizes the ISPs.

According from the news report, majority of the representatives who voted yes are from the Republican Party. On the other hand, there are also members of the Republican who voted no because they do not want to remove the restriction to avoid potential privacy issues. Based on the concluded Senate vote last Thursday, they will forward the result to US President Donald Trump to evaluate matters and review the privacy measures of the Internet users.

From the planned privacy measures proposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), they will not allow broadband and Internet service providers to sell important data from their clients such as shopping information, possible banking transactions, political views and browsing data, among others.

As for those who voted no, the idea to allow the ISPs sell information from their clients without permission will immediately eliminate the competition among the service providers.

According to Jeff Flake in a press release, the privacy policy of FCC indicates that it can limit the choice of the consumer, jeopardize information security and can strangle development by ruining the ecosystem online.

Flake is a Senator from Arizona State and he defends from rolling back the existing guidelines.

As for those who are supporting the FCC guidelines, they think that the removal of restriction benefits mainly the broadband service providers. Like what California representative Ro Khanna said, rather than seeing a competitive industry in this field of business, the new regulation will make 4-5 ISPs more powerful than before.

In line with this issue also, the Electronic Frontier Foundation released its own statement that if US President Trump approved the S.J. Resolution 34 and becomes a law, it will be easier for huge internet service providers to do what they want from the information of their clients because they have the exact power to use the strategies they want.

Electronic Frontier Foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to protect Internet users.

Due to this latest issue in repealing the current Internet privacy guideline, there are speculations about renewing interest to use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). This is a conventional method of technology and even if a customer decided to surf the Internet, the encrypted connection will not reveal the address where it originates because it serves as a private web server.

Countries like Turkey and China are using VPNs to prevent web surfing restrictions imposed by the government.