Trump expected to sign bill undoing Obama-era Internet privacy rules

A bill whose critics say could put people's private browser histories up for sale and hand Internet providers a lucrative victory awaits President Trump's signature after swift passage through the House and Senate.

The controversial resolution, which would overturn a host of Internet privacy protections enacted near the end of the Obama administration, would mean broadband providers can collect data on user’s online activities. But backers say the regulatory rollback of rules that had not yet taken effect merely puts Internet providers on the same level as search engines like Google.

“Congressional action to repeal the [Federal Communications Commission’s] misguided rules marks an important step toward restoring consumer privacy protections that apply consistently to all Internet companies,” the Internet and Television Association, a telecommunications trade group, said in a statement.

Republican lawmakers argue that the rules -- which were created under Obama’s appointee to the FCC, Tom Wheeler, and slated to go in effect later this year – unfairly targeted broadband providers and put them at a disadvantage when competing with internet companies like Google, Amazon and Netflix. Those web giants are not regulated by the FCC, but in recent years have begun competing with telecom companies’ consumers looking into online streaming services.

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