Congress Dismantles FCC Privacy Rules for Internet Service Providers
“Time to start using a VPN at home,” tweeted Vijaya Gadde, general counsel at Twitter, after the news broke about the vote in March to overturn Federal Communications Commission privacy rules for internet service providers.
The bill was established to repeal broadband privacy rules that were established by the FCC last year under the Obama Administration. These rules required ISPs to obtain consent from consumers before using their data for advertising or marketing purposes. Now, after the vote for repeal, according to an article in USA Today, protecting your internet activities from collection and sale by marketers is “easier said than done…” unless you do in fact utilize a Virtual Private Network, or VPN.
In a nutshell, the vote from the US Senate abolished broadband privacy rules than prevented ISPs from selling internet browsing histories from their subscribers to third parties. The Congress followed with a 215-205 vote in favor of repeal shortly thereafter.
But, rather than simply accept the new rules, it appears that United States citizens are researching counter measures. Observe the sharp spike in Google searches for VPN in the United States after the votes:
Donald Trump’s signature is needed before the bill becomes law, but that looks like a done deal. The White House said in a statement that “The Administration strongly supports House passage of S.J.Res. 34, which would nullify the Federal Communications Commission’s final rule titled ‘Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunication Services’,” and furthermore that “If S.J.Res. 34 were presented to the President; his advisors would recommend that he sign the bill into law.”
Consumers can expect that their internet service provider will compete with Google and Facebook utilizing online browsing records—at the expense of subscriber’s privacy. The biggest difference perhaps? Consumers can choose to use Google or Facebook, and can limit what they share on both platforms. But an ISP can potentially tap total browsing records—which could expose extraordinarily private information like heath records, finances, sexual preferences, and more. And third parties could feast on that data in the interests of furthering their commerce.
So how can a VPN mitigate this threat? In a word, encryption.
A VPN service like SlickVPN creates a super-strong encrypted tunnel through which all your internet traffic is routed. No one can see or affect what you do online—not potential data thieves or cyber spies—not even your Internet Service Provider.
You simply use your computer, tablet or smartphone to connect to SlickVPN and you’re protected. No monitoring, no throttling, and no selling of your information to third parties—because they can’t see you. The sites you visit are masked, as well as your unique identifiers.