Senators Markey, Blumenthal, Warren and Franken Call on FCC to Protect Broadband Privacy Rules

Strong rules passed by the FCC in October 2016 are set to take effect this week


Washington (February 28, 2017) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Al Franken (D-Minn.) today sent a letter calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to protect its broadband privacy rules that were approved in October 2016. The FCC recently announced that Chairman Ajit Pai intends to stop the implementation of the data security protections, which are set to go into effect this week on March 2, 2017. 

“We support these responsible privacy protections and strongly encourage you not to take any actions that weaken these rules,” write the Senators in the letter to Chairman Pai. “Your proposal comes despite the mounting number of data breaches impacting consumers throughout this country. We oppose your efforts and believe it would make subscribers’ sensitive information more vulnerable to breaches and unauthorized use.”   

A copy of the Senators’ letter can be found HERE


In 2015 the FCC reclassified broadband as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act and adopted rules to protect the open internet. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld this reclassification in June 2016.  As part of reclassification, the FCC chose to apply Section 222 of Title II to broadband, extending the duty to protect the privacy of information that internet service providers collect about their customers by virtue of the carrier-customer relationship.  In July 2016, Senator Markey led a letter urging the FCC to finalize strong broadband privacy rules.