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[TheVerge] US Senate votes to let internet providers share your web browsing history without permission

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The US Senate has voted to overturn consumer-friendly internet privacy rules that would have prevented internet providers from sharing your web browsing history without permission.

The privacy rules, passed last year by the FCC, required internet providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T to get each customer’s permission before sharing personal information like which websites they visit. But internet providers want to be able to sell that data and use it to target ads, so they’ve been vocal about opposing the rules since around the time President Trump took office. [...]

This resolution is a direct attack on consumer rights, on privacy, on rules that afford basic protection against intrusive and illegal interference with consumers' use of social media sites and websites that often they talk for granted,” Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said in the Senate today ahead of the vote. [...]

http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/23/15026666/senate-broadband-privacy-rule...

[ArsTechnica] After vote to kill privacy rules, users try to “pollute” their Web history

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While the US government is giving ISPs free rein to track their customers’ Internet usage for purposes of serving personalized advertisements, some Internet users are determined to fill their browsing history with junk so ISPs can’t discover their real browsing habits. [...]

Electronic Frontier Foundation Senior Staff Technologist Jeremy Gillula is skeptical but hopes he’s wrong. “I'd love to be proven wrong about this,” he told Ars. “I'd want to see solid research showing how well such a noise-creation system works on a large scale before I trust it." [...]

ISPs want to become bigger players in the online advertising market dominated by companies like Google and Facebook, which face less strict “opt-out” rules than the opt-in rule that would have applied to ISPs. [...]

Smith agreed with Gillula that creating browser noise “isn’t a full solution, and that counters are possible,” but he remains optimistic that it can be an important tool for preserving user privacy alongside initiatives like HTTPS Everywhere and other privacy-protecting technologies. [...]

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/04/after-vote-to-kil...

[Motherboard] Canada Just Ruled to Uphold Net Neutrality

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On Thursday afternoon, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the country's federal telecom regulator, dropped a bombshell ruling on the status of net neutrality—the principle that all web services should be treated equally by providers. And, blessedly, it's good news.

The CRTC ruled that "[internet] service providers should treat data traffic equally to foster consumer choice, innovation and the free exchange of ideas," a CRTC news release states. What this means is that service providers won't be able to privilege certain services over others—say, YouTube or Apple Music—by letting you use them without dinging your data plan. This is a practice generally known as "zero-rating" or differential pricing. [...]

The CRTC's decision is welcome news as its sister organization in the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is right now starting to roll back some of its previous commitments to net neutrality. [...]

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/canada-just-ruled-to-uphold-n...

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