Tag Archives: consumer protection

Sen. Jeff Flake’s bill wipes out the FCC’s landmark rule for Internet privacy protection

Arizona Senator Jef Flake does not believe in your privacy on the Internet. In fact, he believes that everything you do on the Internet, from your personal information, browsing history, the apps you use, etc. is fair game for your Internet service provider (ISP) to compile a personal profile on you and to use that information for their profit, as well as to sell to third parties.

Senn. Flake introduced S.J.Res. 34, a joint resolution of congressional disapproval of the FCC rule relating to “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services.”

Last week the Senate voted on a party-line vote of 50-48 to undo landmark rules covering your Internet privacy:

U.S. senators voted 50 to 48 to approve a joint resolution from Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) that would prevent the Federal Communications Commission’s privacy rules from going into effect. The resolution also would bar the FCC from ever enacting similar consumer protections.

Flake’s measure aims to nullify the FCC’s privacy rules altogether.

Today, House Tea-Publicans voted overwhelmingly, by a margin of 215-205, to to wipe out the FCC’s landmark Internet privacy protections:

The resolution marks a sharp, partisan pivot toward letting Internet providers collect and sell their customers’ Web browsing history, location information, health data and other personal details.

The measure, which was approved by a 50-48 margin in the Senate last week, now heads to the White House, where President Trump is expected to sign it.

Continue reading

Arizona House disregards the will of the voters to favor predatory payday lenders

wolvesBack in 2008, when predatory “payday lender” rules sunset under existing Arizona law, Jonathan “Payday” Paton convinced his fellow Tea-Publicans in the legislature to put Prop. 200 on the ballot, which would have extended existing exemptions for the payday loan industry regarding maximum interest rates.

The voters of Arizona resoundingly said “no” to the predatory practices of payday lenders.

But banksters never give up, and neither do their servile lickspitter servants in the lawless Tea-Publican Arizona legislature who badly want their campaign donations. The expressed will of the voters be damned — what do voters know anyway? Our authoritarian Tea-Publican legislators know what’s best for us. Just do as they say.

So once again, payday lenders are back with a bill to allow these predators to prey on Arizona citizens with HB 2611 (.pdf). The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reported last week, Arizona House adopts bill to OK new loans for payday lenders:

The Arizona House passed a bill Wednesday that allows payday lenders to offer a new product with more than 200 percent interest, despite voters barring them from operating in the state under a 2008 initiative.

The proposal received approval in a 31-29 vote that included lawmakers from both sides of the aisle rising to champion their causes. [Vote detail at end of post.]

Continue reading

FCC approves net neutrality, Providers, GOP vow to block it

First, the good news today. FCC approves strict rules on Web providers:

FCCThe Federal Communications Commission approved strict new rules for Internet providers Thursday in a historic vote that represents the government’s most aggressive attempt to make sure the Web remains a level playing field.

The rules would dramatically expand the agency’s oversight of the country’s high-speed broadband providers, regulating them like a public utility. They were adopted by a 3-to-2 margin with the commission’s Republican members voting against them.

Under the rules, it will be illegal for companies such as Verizon or Cox Communications to slow down streaming videos, games and other online content traveling over their networks. They also will be prohibited from establishing “fast lanes” that speed up access to Web sites that pay an extra fee. And in an unprecedented move, the FCC could apply the rules to wireless carriers, such as T-Mobile and Sprint, in a nod to the rapid rise of smartphones and the mobile Internet.

“This is no more a plan to regulate the Internet than the First Amendment is a plan to regulate free speech,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “They both stand for the same concept: openness, expression and an absence of gatekeepers telling them what they can do, where they can go and what they can think.”

* * *

It is also a significant victory for consumer advocates, grass-roots organizers, Internet companies and Democrats, all of whom spent months pressing for what President Obama called “the strongest possible rules” on net neutrality.

President Obama sent a thank-you note to the millions of people who urged the FCC to write tough rules. Obama’s thank you note to net neutrality supporters .

Continue reading