What Is The ISP Privacy Bill?
The S.J. Res. 34 (also known as The ISP Privacy Bill on Twitter) is a bill that allows an ISP selling data from your browsing history to advertisers without your consent legally. The Senate vote on ISP privacy regulations rolls back some of the rules enforced by the FCC that prevented them from using their subscribers’ browsing data for their own gains. These regulations have been voted against by members of Congress lobbied by major ISPs themselves.
How does the ISP Bill affect US Citizens?
In a historical 215 to 205 vote, the US Congress sold out online privacy to ISPs. Yes, using the powers bestowed by the Congressional Review Act, the US Congress disapproved & rolled back internet data privacy rules previously enacted by the Obama government.
ISPs now have the authority to sell the data of US citizens to the highest bidder without the consent of the people whose data is being sold. The joint resolution invalidates the privacy rules (titled Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services) submitted to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in February 2016.
215 Congressmen (enemies of privacy) voted in favor of the bill forever eroding the confidentiality of US citizens’ online data. As you will notice all 275 Senators’ & Representatives who voted in favor of demolishing privacy are Republicans, all those who opposed are Democrats.
In accordance to the rules recommended & adopted by the Obama Administration, ISPs (internet service providers) would require customer consent to sell or share the following for advertising and marketing:
- Geo-location information
- Financial information
- Health information
- Children’s information, and
- Web browsing history
The Congressional Review and repealing of these rules by the Trump government will allow ISPs to:
- Sell your data with your consent to 3rd parties
- Hijack your web searches, routing your browser to websites that pay them
- Monitor your traffic in real time
- Record browsing activities
- Inject advertisements where they feel like
- Install cookies & software to record your mobile browsing activities
- Do with your browsing data as they please, there are no restrictions to what they can do!
In addition to the above, websites will now have the license to store more data than even ISPs will from all US traffic.
What Is Happening with the ISP Privacy Bill Now?
After express approval from the Senate, the internet privacy repealing act now lies on the desk of President Trump, awaiting approval & enactment. White House spokesman Sean Spicer has already commented that he doesn’t know when “President Trump would sign the bill …” There is serious criticism of the Republican government from privacy advocates, opposition leaders, journalists and academics alike as the Trump administration moves ahead with enacting S.J. Res. 34 (Senate’s Joint Resolution 34).
— Dr. DaShanne Stokes (@DaShanneStokes) March 30, 2017
What You Can Do To Stop An ISP That Sells Data
The question on most US citizens minds now is just how to protect their data from their ISP. While there is no defined strategy or tool that can be recommended there is a mix of ideas you can employ to completely disregard this massive invasion of privacy in the US. I use all these tools to keep away from 3rd party marketers and invasive online surveillance:
- Use an internet security suite for both mobile & PC, I use ESET Smart Security
- Use an Ad-Blocker, I use BadAdJohnny
- Use a tracker & script blocker (more or less same as an Ad-Blocker), I use Privacy Badger
- Invest in a non-US based VPN service, I use IvacyVPN
One software name that you will constantly hear during this saga is VPN or Virtual Private Networks to be exact. These legendary data security & privacy tools were designed mainly for business users who tend to travel a lot and access business networks from remote locations. The primary job of VPN is to create what is known as a “secure & encrypted tunnel” using a mix of ciphering technologies, allowing you to browse freely without being tracked online by ISPs, the government, marketers and cybercriminals.
As Americans flock to VPN provider websites, it is an ideal time to warn them to avoid US based VPN services. Yes, they might sound convenient and they may seem trustworthy, but US based VPN are no more than data warehouses ready to be exploited by the NSA or ISPs. In accordance to US laws all VPN user data should be made available for up to 12 months. This simply means US VPN providers maintain a complete record of all your activities rather than act as privacy providers.
A better option that I have always suggested is trying out leading Non-US based VPN providers especially in countries with little or no data retention legislation. Some popular locations include Hong Kong, Panama, British Virgin Islands etc. To learn more about securing your privacy check out my detailed blog on Non-US based VPN providers. Act now to stop ISPs from selling your personal information & browsing data!
America’s Privacy Heroes – Senators Who Refused to Sell You Out!
While the Republican majority in the Senate was busy stomping over your online privacy, a minority of heroes including Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, Representative Tulsi Gabbard and Representative Anthony Brown took a stand in the face of tyranny. Discover which House Representatives & Senators voted against giving ISPs the power to sell your personal online data without consent:
— Best VPN Provider (@VPNBest) March 30, 2017
In a Nutshell
This is not an instance where I bid you farewell and hope that you will share this article. Remember to share this article with everyone you know and stand up for your online privacy because you know your government won’t. Stop ISPs from selling your information and uphold the supremacy of the ISP privacy bill.