Fight for the Future


BREAKING: House of Representatives votes to gut Internet privacy rules

Posted 17:18 EDT on March 28, 2017

Fight for the Future will unleash billboards to expose lawmakers who take large contributions from ISPs

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, March 28, 2017
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

The U.S. House of Representatives just voted 215 - 205 to gut the FCC’s Internet privacy rules that prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Comcast and Verizon from selling their customer’s personal information to advertisers without their consent. The measure already passed the Senate last week, so it will now head to the President’s desk for signing.

Yesterday, digital rights group Fight for the Future, known for organizing massive protests against SOPA and for net neutrality announced that they will put up billboards with the names of every member of Congress who voted to sell off their constituent’s privacy rights.

“Today Congress proved once again that they care more about the wishes of the corporations that fund their campaigns than they do about the safety and security of their constituents,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future.

“Gutting these privacy rules won’t just allow Internet Service Providers to spy on us and sell our personal information, it will also enable more unconstitutional mass government surveillance, and fundamentally undermine our cybersecurity by making our sensitive personal information vulnerable to hackers, identity thieves, and foreign governments,” she added.

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The group released a draft mock-up of what the initial billboard – which will be unveiled in Washington, DC and in select districts – will look like, with the names of the 50 Senators who voted for the bill last week. Today they tweeted a mock-up of a billboard targeting Rep Marsha Blackburn, who has taken nearly $700,000 in contributions from telecom companies over her career.

“Congress should know by now that when you come for the Internet, the Internet comes for you,” Greer added, “these billboards are just the beginning. People from across the political spectrum are outraged, and every lawmaker who votes to take away our privacy will regret it come election day.”

The public backlash following the party-line vote in the Senate clearly had an impact, as 15 Republicans broke ranks to vote against the controversial measure.

By using the CRA to gut the FCC broadband privacy rules, lawmakers voted to allow ISPs to:

-Monitor and sell customer’s location data, search history, app usage, and browsing habits to advertisers without your permission

-Hijack customer’s search results, redirecting their traffic to paying third parties

-Insert ads into web pages that would otherwise not have them

Fight for the Future was instrumental in the massive grassroots campaign that successfully pushed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to enact the strongest net neutrality protections in US. history last year. They built the page BattleForTheNet.com, which was responsible for more than ¼ of all the net neutrality comments received by the FCC during its feedback process, and were behind the Internet Slowdown protest, which was supported by more than 40,000 websites including some of the largest on the Web like Kickstarter, Etsy, Netflix, and Tumblr.  

The group also helped take the fight for net neutrality into the streets with creative protest campaigns like Occupy the FCC and the nationwide Internet Emergency protests.

Fight for the Future is best known for their role in the massive online protests against SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, and continues to organize many of the largest protests in the history of the Internet. Over the summer, they organized the high profile Rock Against the TPP tour featuring many celebrities and well known musicians. Learn more at FightFortheFuture.org

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