President Trump signed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution on April 3, 2017 that nullified the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) privacy rule aimed at Internet Service Providers (ISPs). As discussed in the WLF Legal Pulse’s reading list for FCC regulators last month, the Commission adopted the rule just before the 2016 election over the opposition of two Commissioners (including one who has since become FCC Chairman). WLF filed comments last May opposing the proposed rule. Many media commentators and self-styled consumer advocates proclaimed that the proverbial sky was falling due to the nullification. Such ideologically-fueled Chicken-Little rhetoric, however, does not reflect reality.
Post-nullification analyses bemoaned ISPs’ collection of consumers’ “personal information” and the ability of these companies to sell such information to expand their businesses. Nay-sayers’ complaints essentially boiled down to the bromide offered in the Washington Post: the CRA resolution “wipe[d] away landmark privacy protections for Internet users.” Continue reading