FCC called out for exempting the web’s leading data collectors from proposed rule
Washington, DC – More than a quarter-million internet users across the country have spoken out against the FCC’s baldly transparent proposal on expansive new privacy rules that regulate certain companies while exempting some of the web’s biggest data collectors. An online platform designed by Protect Internet Freedom (PIF) provided users a direct line of communication to tell the FCC that they’ve been caught red-handed seeking regulations that would do nothing to actually protect consumer online privacy as the Commission claims – regulating only a small part of the internet ecosystem, while exempting others from the rules. A total of 259,539 opposition comments were filed against the FCC NPRM, an overwhelming majority of the 271,669 total comments filed in the docket as the commenting deadline nears.
“The FCC cannot turn a deaf ear to the sheer volume of angry Americans that have spoken out against the brazenness of its proposed privacy rule,” said PIF National Director Drew Johnson. “The agency is treating Americans like we’re all idiots. The FCC’s blatant regulatory overreach that selectively picks winners and losers in the marketplace completely undermines the FCC’s credibility.”
In just a few short weeks, hundreds of thousands comments from concerned Internet users were collected and submitted. Johnson noted that even more comments would have been submitted had the FCC proceedings not been mired with problems. In May, several thousand comments collected went unposted for weeks after their submission to the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). On May 12, an FCC spokesperson admitted the agency faced a backlog of 74,000 comment filings across all of the FCC’s proceedings. Ultimately, the backlog was resolved, but the FCC granted no extension for more Americans to share their opinions despite the agency’s technological problems.
“Americans aren’t stupid and we won’t be duped this time. The FCC’s privacy rulemaking, just like the Title II rulemaking before it, show the inherent dangers of the government’s internet takeover. Chairman Tom Wheeler should respond to the overwhelming number of Americans that have demanded answers,” said Johnson.