Before he took office, Donald Trump promised he would take steps to destroy Barack Obama’s legacy and to undo the wrongs he’s done to our country. He followed through with this once again on Monday when he signed a bill to wipe away an Obama-era rule that limited the way in which internet providers could sell user data to third parties.
Western Journalism reported that Trump’s executive order undid the Federal Communications Commission rule, which created two standards of privacy protection. The looser standard went to companies like Google and Facebook and a stricter one went to stricter internet service providers, as it forced them to obtain user permission before selling their data to third parties. Therefore, Trump’s order has come as good news to companies such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon.
“President Trump and Congress have appropriately invalidated one part of the Obama-era plan for regulating the Internet,” said FCC chairman Ajit Pai. “Those flawed privacy rules, which never went into effect, were designed to benefit one group of favored companies, not online consumers.”
Liberals immediately spoke out to whine about Trump’s bill.
“It’s shocking that of all the challenges facing this country the Trump administration would prioritize taking away people’s privacy,” said Craig Aron, CEO of the advocacy group Free Press. “There is literally no public support for this bill. Its only advocates are the nation’s biggest phone, cable and Internet companies. There’s no longer any question — if there ever was — whose needs this administration intends to serve. But people everywhere are on high alert to the serious threat to the free and open Internet. And they will fight back.”
However, industry groups have praised Trump for the move.
“Hopefully, this week’s action by Congress gets us back on the path to a more rational and consumer-friendly framework,” said Bob Quinn, AT&T’s top lobbyist. “I am also hopeful that facts actually work their way back into the debate.”
Trade group USTelecom Chief Executive Jonathan Spalter also applauded Trump for “stopping rules that would have created a confusing and conflicting consumer privacy framework.”
“Consumers should feel confident that the steps taken today won’t change anything other than clearing the path for regulators to institute uniform privacy rules that will keep their sensitive information private and secure,” he added.
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