Internet Privacy: A Chance for Massachusetts to Confound the National GOP

Last year, President Obama’s Federal Communications Commission ruled that broadband providers may not sell information about their customers’ internet browsing habits without permission.

But last Monday, the President scrapped that rule, signing into law a bill that had been approved in both chambers of Congress (on strict party-line votes) to allow telecommunications giants like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T to collect and sell that information, notwithstanding any objections from us, its source.

Now this privacy battle has moved to the state level:  Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota and Montana have been pursuing ways to restore the privacy protections that were jettisoned by the Republicans in D.C.

And as of Friday, Massachusetts has joined them.  Republican Senator Bruce Tarr, joined by his five Senate GOP colleagues, has filed legislation to prohibit broadband providers from using or selling their customers’ internet histories without permission, and several Democratic lawmakers have already signed on as co-sponsors.  Let’s hear it for bipartisanship.

You can help to get this bill moving in the State House by calling your Senator and Representative and asking them to co-sponsor Senate Docket 2157: An Act to Secure Internet Security and Privacy.  Contact info here.

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