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House Republicans Urge FCC to Continue Protecting Privacy

More than half a hundred Republican members of Congress signed onto a letter Friday asking FCC chairman Ajit Pai to "continue ensuring" that consumer broadband privacy is maintained until the FCC "remedies" the Title II reclassification.

Republicans are pushing the FCC to roll back Title II. They are preaching to the choir. Pai met with ISPs this week to talk about that effort and potentially having those ISPs publicly support Open Internet guidelines that the Federal Trade Commission could enforce.

Lead signatories on the letter were Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Communications and Technology Subcommittee chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee chairman Bob Latta (R-Ohio).

The letter was phrased to signal that they thought the FCC had been protecting privacy and just wanted to emphasize the need to continue to do so and to do so along the lines of the FTC's privacy by design approach to edge providers and, formerly, ISPs.

"Until such time as the FCC rectifies the Title II reclassification that inappropriately removed ISPs from the FTC's jurisdiction, we urge the FCC to continue to hold ISPs to their privacy promises."

They also urged the chairman to make sure that everybody under their jurisdiction got the message that the FCC was still planning to protect consumer privacy and how that "fits into the FCC's priorities."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.