Oppose S. J. Res. 52, CRA on Restoring Internet Freedom Order

May 15, 2018

U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator,

Tomorrow, you will be asked to vote on S. J. Res. 52, a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of Congressional disapproval of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) adoption of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order (RIFO). On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I strongly urge to you to vote against S. J. Res. 52.

Among the many problems with this resolution is the gaping hole in privacy protection that will occur if S. J. Res. 52 is adopted. This is the one issue that supporters of the resolution do not wish to be brought up or discussed publicly in their zeal to overturn the RIFO.

Most American do not know which federal agency protects their online privacy for different actions. Companies like Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter have always been subject to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) privacy enforcement regime. That same privacy protection covered internet service providers (ISPs) prior to the 2015 Obama-era Open Internet Order (OIO), also known as the net neutrality order. The OIO subjected ISPs to Title II of the Communications of 1934 for the first time and bifurcated privacy jurisdiction. The FTC cannot regulate common carriers, such as public airlines, railroads, bus lines, taxicab companies, phone companies, cruise ships, motor carriers, and other freight companies.

S. J. Res. 52 would again strip away ISP consumer privacy protection from the FTC, but does not restore the jurisdiction of the FCC over ISP privacy. Under the OIO, the FCC was developing privacy regulations, which were not finalized prior to the 2016 elections. Congress overturned the proposed regulations under a CRA that President Trump signed into law on April 4, 2017. The RIFO both reestablished the Title I information service classification for ISPs and restored the FTC’s privacy jurisdiction over ISPs.

The OIO broke the internet by superseding nearly 20 years of light touch regulation that had allowed innovation to flourish. The RIFO repairs the damage done. I strongly urge you to oppose S. J. Res. 52, and work closely with your colleagues on a legislative solution that would permanently ensure internet freedom and online privacy protections for all Americans with provisions similar to those adopted by the FCC in August 2005. All votes on S. J. 52 will be among those considered in CCAGW’s 2018 Congressional Ratings.


Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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