Blackburn Aims To Revoke Broadband Privacy Rules

The head of the House Communications Subcommittee says she is readying a push to revoke the Federal Communications Commission's broadband privacy rules.

Speaking on C-SPAN's "The Communicators," Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), a longtime critic of net neutrality regulations, said she believes lawmakers can use the Congressional Review Act to rescind the new privacy rules. Those rules, passed by a 3-2 vote last October, require broadband carriers to obtain consumers' opt-in consent before drawing on their data for ad targeting.

"I think using the CRA is fine," Blackburn said. "We are working with the Senate to make sure we can do that."

She added that she could move forward with the initiative as early as this week. Her comments come several weeks after more than a dozen conservative and libertarian groups asked lawmakers to revoke the rules under the Congressional Review Act -- a rarely used 1996 law that allows federal lawmakers to overturn recent agency decisions.

Blackburn also downplayed concerns that revoking the FCC's rules would leave broadband providers without any oversight when it comes to privacy, due to their status as common carriers. The Federal Trade Commission, which typically enforces privacy standards, isn't authorized to prosecute common carriers. 

"I would think there would be a way to work through that so that you don't have a gap in oversight," Blackburn said. She didn't elaborate further.

Blackburn also reiterated her opposition to the FCC's 2015 net neutrality rules, which prohibit carriers from blocking or degrading traffic and from charging companies higher fees for prioritized delivery. "I think most people agree, the Internet is not broken," she said. "It does not need the FCC to manage it."

1 comment about "Blackburn Aims To Revoke Broadband Privacy Rules".
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  1. Chuck Lantz from, network, February 13, 2017 at 7:18 p.m.

    "The Internet is not broken" ... yet.  

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