The unfortunate future of privacy on the internet

Jack Benson

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The recent legislation passed by Congress is a roll back on internet regulation, including laws protecting privacy. This is a scary foreshadowing of the future of how freedom will work on the internet. While the legislation itself is intimidating, this is just the beginning as many more regulations surrounding the internet will be repealed. Even for people who believe in small government, or think government regulations are bad for the free market, this bill is still a bad decision. This bill will remove basic privacies, allowing ISPs to access customer’s personal information without their consent.

This legislation is a huge loss toward the future of internet privacy. President Donald Trump signed the repeal at the beginning of April. Anyone who uses or enjoys the internet should fight this repeal however they can as this new legislation affects every part of online life. The legislation repeals privacy regulation guaranteed by the FCC during Barack Obama’s presidency. This includes protections over internet browsing histories. The repeal of those protections means that ISPs such as Comcast and Verizon can now sell people’s browsing history to advertisers.   

However, things can be done to stop this rapid loss of privacy. The repeals have already flown through the federal level, and in a congress controlled by republicans who believe in fewer regulations for companies, there is a slim chance any improvement will be found there. The state level is another story. Minnesota’s congress has already rejected the repeals. According to a recent amendment in the state budget, any ISPs in the state can not look at or sell a customer’s private information without their express consent. The amendment is a perfect step in combating privacy loss in the internet. But, the fight for worry free internet use is not over. More and more regulations will be repealed by the federal government. People who care about the future of the internet should not let their privacy slip away. Anyone can help, either by emailing a state congressmen or making an effort to bring awareness to power these repeals can have. Use the internet while it’s still a free place to advocate for a private future.