Whatcha doin’ on Teh InnarToobz?

everybody knows!

First off — who knew Congress could disapprove of a regulatory rule proposed by the Regulatory .Gov?!??

From the document being disapproved:

… the current federal privacy regime… does not now comprehensively apply the traditional principles of privacy protection to these 21st Century telecommunications services provided by broadband networks. That is a gap that must be closed, and this NPRM proposes a way to do so by securing what Congress has commandedthe ability of every telecommunications user to protect his or her privacy.

…We explained that, in the context of Section 222 [see below - e~C] “it is clear that Congress used the term `proprietary information’ broadly to encompass all types of information that should not be exposed widely to the public, whether because that information is sensitive for economic reasons or for reasons of personal privacy.”

The [Communications] Act gives us the authority to prescribe rules that may be necessary in the public interest to carry out the Communications Act, and our authority to adopt rules to interpret and implement Section 222′s provisions is well established.

…Fundamentally, Section 222 obligates telecommunications carriers to protect the confidentiality of proprietary information, including proprietary information about their customers, and in furtherance of that obligation it requires carriers to seek approval before using or sharing customer proprietary network information. When we reclassified BIAS [Broadband Internet Access Service ] as a telecommunications service, we determined that forbearance from Section 222 would not serve the public interest because of the importance of ensuring that BIAS customers have strong privacy protections.

The Communications Act was written in 1996 – before the InnarToobz were so ubiquitous and depended upon in people’s everyday lives, therefore it refered to telecom companies and phone stuff.

[US Code: Communications Act of 1996 Section 222]

(a) In general
Every telecommunications carrier has a duty to protect the confidentiality of proprietary information of, and relating to, other telecommunication carriers, equipment manufacturers, and customers, including telecommunication carriers reselling telecommunications services provided by a telecommunications carrier.

(b) Confidentiality of carrier information
A telecommunications carrier that receives or obtains proprietary information from another carrier for purposes of providing any telecommunications service shall use such information only for such purpose, and shall not use such information for its own marketing efforts.

so this is what Your Congress has in mind:

S. J. RES. 34 — Joint Resolution

Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services”.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services” (81 Fed. Reg. 87274 (December 2, 2016)), and such rule shall have no force or effect.

The People r not happy.

… a new crop of GoFundMe campaigns… has seized on an unexpected method of revenge: buying politicians’ web histories one by one and publishing them for all to see

Th cited article seems to think this provision of Section 222 prohibits that sort of selling of individual information and only permits selling information in the aggregate.

(c) Confidentiality of customer proprietary network information

(1) Privacy requirements for telecommunications carriers
Except as required by law or with the approval of the customer, a telecommunications carrier that receives or obtains customer proprietary network information by virtue of its provision of a telecommunications service shall only use, disclose, or permit access to individually identifiable customer proprietary network information in its provision of (A) the telecommunications service from which such information is derived, or (B) services necessary to, or used in, the provision of such telecommunications service, including the publishing of directories.

I ain’t no lawyer but couldn’t “services necessary to, or used in, the provision of such telecommunications service” include financially supportive advertising revenue?

So long as they are not talking ”Individual Browser History” type disclosures… I’m less concerned. It would be incredibly stupid — not to put that past them — to release everyone’s particulars on banking, medical, personal and other browser-type stuffs.

ISPs might be able to figure out where you bank, your political views, and your sexual orientation based on what sites you visit…

“You don’t need to see the contents of every communication” to develop efficient ad tracking mechanisms”, [Dallas Harris, a policy fellow at consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge] said. “The fact that you’re looking at a website can reveal when you’re home, when you’re not home.”

ISPs “want to be the advertising powerhouse, which is why they fought so hard against these rules,” Harris said. “They want to compete with Google and Facebook and other edge providers in the advertising space. This is going to be their new frontier, a new way for them to increase their profits.”

On a completely unrelated question; does anyone have any experience with Tor? Good Thing or Bad Thing?
or just too complex for a dumbass like me to use?


  1. Madams1064
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 11:09 am |

    Ive read that TOR browsing is slow in general. Also read that the FBI can still trace ip addresses as proven in some recent pedo ring busts. So not convinced its worth it. Just my 2 cents.

  2. DougM (flawed)
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 12:59 pm |

    Can they get birth certificates and college records?
    Askin’ for a friend.

  3. mech
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 1:12 pm |

    Maybe we can just run all our encrypted VPNs through that paper up there in olympialand. . .

  4. Posted March 30, 2017 at 4:53 pm |

    First order of business: I use the https everywhere add-on in my browsers.

    TOR does that automatically, they developed it with the EFF. TOR can be slower, because it routes through multiple servers, but it does provide added layers of security. Personally, since I don’t engage in threatening Jewish Community Centers, I just harden the systems to deter malevolents.

    ^1: the pedo rings were busted because the FBI took over the pedo sites and harvested incoming IP addresses, not because they went to Comcast or whomever and said “all your data are belong to us”.

  5. DougM (flawed)
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 6:26 pm |

    Reckon I’m not gonna run for president again.
    (What? Yeah, should be a comma there, but nobody’ll notice.)
    Also, I’m never gonna need another security clearance,
    so follow my web history trail all you want, snooper guys!
    Enjoy the ride.

    Oh, and snooper guys? Just because I downloaded those plans and the how-to videos doesn’t mean I’m actually gonna make ‘em things.
    I could.
    But I prob’ly won’t.
    Unless, you know, push comes to shove.
    Just sayin’…