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Bennett Ross Comments on Repeal of Burdensome Broadband Privacy Rules

Associated Press
April 18, 2017

Bennett L. Ross, a partner in Wiley Rein’s Telecom, Media & Technology and Privacy & Cybersecurity practices, was quoted in an April 17 Associated Press story regarding the recent repeal of broadband privacy rules adopted last year. The repeal, passed by Congress on March 28 and signed into law by President Trump on April 3, struck down an October 2016 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order that would have imposed burdensome restrictions on the collection and use of customer data by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The rules unfairly burdened ISPs at the expense of other Internet providers. In addition, the rules were not scheduled to take effect until later this year, so the repeal was simply a removal of restrictions that had not previously existed.

The repeal came as part of a broader deregulatory push that was supported by interests beyond the telecom and ISP sectors, including groups representing online advertising and consumer technology industries.

“I don’t know that the ISPs themselves could have gotten the attention this issue got,” said Mr. Ross. “I think it absolutely helped to have a number of different constituencies coming to Congress and saying this is a problem.”