Trump Repeals ISP Regulations

ISP Regulations Repealed — Your Browsing Data Now Available to Highest Bidder

Yesterday, April 3, 2017, President Trump signed a law repealing ISP regulations on selling consumer’s browsing data.  The law is not going to take effect until December of 2017.  Once the law does go into effect, ISPs will have the authorization to sell their customer’s browsing data to the highest bidder.  Trump believes this will help smaller ISPs be competitive with online giants like Facebook and Google.

However, there are concerns regarding user privacy after the law is implemented.  PC Matic’s cyber security expert, Dodi Glenn, made the following statement to Tech Republic,

“The difference is that a person can refuse to use Google or Facebook, and not risk their privacy. In the case of an ISP gathering the data, there is no choice other than don’t use the internet.”

Never using the internet seems a bit extreme.  Perhaps there is an alternative solution to maintain a level of privacy.  Glenn believes there is.  Virtual Private Networks.  He states,

“I believe the usage of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) will increase exponentially, due to this legislation. These servers will be used by consumers and business professionals to route their traffic to offshore locations, where their privacy is maintained at much higher standards. By using a VPN, the ISP can only see that their customer connected to another server, but not the websites they have visited.”

Techlicious also shares in the belief that VPNs could be a legitimate solution to enhancing your browsing privacy after the new law is implemented.  Learn more about their thoughts on the benefits and limitations of VPNs here.


What are your thoughts on Trump’s repeal of ISP regulations?  Drop a comment below sharing your thoughts.

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67 thoughts on “Trump Repeals ISP Regulations”

  1. PC Matic has saved my old VISTA programmed PC and it runs like new. I’m so happy that I have been telling all my friends. I bowl in two Senior leagues and I am very active in Christian activities here in San Jose.
    If PC Matic becomes a political pone for the anti Trump citizenre, my positive comments will become negative in a hurry! You have a great product. Be smart.
    Bill Hooper

  2. I use a Hosts file with thousands of adservers blocked. It’s easy to do. Google it. Though I don’t like this legislation (at all!), I won’t be seeing any more ads than I am now, which very very few..

    1. @Pete: I don’t think (could be wrong – certainly not the first time!) that the ISP regulations don’t seem to be affecting the ads (those popups) – this just lets your ISP sell your browsing data to whoever pays the most money for your info. So while you’re not getting ads, your browsing data is being tracked.

      1. I don’t like being tracked but 1) there’s no stopping that and 2) there’s really nothing to hide. NSA amd company are already doing plenty of tracking. ISPs are wanting tracking for advertising revenue, primarily (because what we pay them is evidently not enough). …so they track me and sell my info to advertisers …but I’ve blocked the advertisers from reaching me and bombarding me with their crapola. It aint perfect but I can live with that. Advertisers can knock but they can’t get in because my browser isn’t responding to their requests.

  3. I haven’t time to read all posts, forgive if I repeat here.
    My POV on this;
    I pay a bunch for 100Gb per month over slow (5 to 8mb/s) link. My privacy is worth paying more, BUT WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO, even if that was an option?
    So I pay ISP to sell my info and all I get is tons of ads via email, USPS, maybe popups too. What a wonderful deal.
    I see the ISPs that promise not to sell my info popping up to take away my ISPs customer base. Sign me up!

  4. Fellow readers, You’re focusing on the wrong thing. “….President Trump signed a law repealing ISP regulations….” Let me interpret this for you. He signed a LAW. That means it came from our Representatives and Senators. If you don’t like it, start by climbing up their butts.

  5. Mercy, this is just another way that this government is taking away our privacy and freedom. It is only going to get worse.

    1. ref=”#comment-1676254″>Joseph Raines: PCmatic needs to stay out of politics and concentrate on constantly upgrading their product to be better than the competition. I’m assuming that the “snowflake” that wrote this article is probably a Hillary supporter and believes that she is much smarter than President Trump. (and by the way, it is PRESIDENT Trump, not just Trump) I will not renew my protection if this continues.

      1. Talk about politicizing a legitimate discussion Neil! The article discusses the repeal issue and not the ridiculous presidency of this moron you call Trump. Focus on the issue and how privacy may be sabotaged, rather than your scanty defense of (oh excuse us) Trump.
        PS: may as well renew your protection now in preparation for the big yard sale that’s coming in December.

        1. @Neilander: I guess that your opinion is the only one that counts….maybe you’ll run in 2020 since this seems to be the most important issue in todays world. Have you even read anyone else’s comments?

      2. @Neil: PCmatic wouldn’t be doing its job if it didn’t inform us of this important issue. Neil – you would obviously prefer nobody to show anything that portrays your hero in a poor light. I WILL renew my protection if this sort of reporting continues

        1. @Kenneth Maltby: Kenneth, I purchased PCmatic as an anti-virus to protect my computers and that is all. Your personal opinions about the current leadership in this country does not have an impact on my purchase. I was under the impression that it was a product designed to protect my investment…not a lobbyist group. I’ll continue to dwell in the present and not promote hypotheticals of what could happen in the future. You certainly are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own made up facts.

          1. @Neil: I think you were the first one to show personal opinions here. I certainly made up no facts – that is the domain of people like you

        2. What Kenneth said… double that. I couldn’t agree more. Why are people beating them up when they feel an obligation to inform as a tech security company>?

      3. First of all I am not a snowflake. There is no reason to call me names. Second no, not the least bit hillary. I would of voted for duffy duck before her. Yes I back Trump. But he is making some bad choices, this is one of them.

  6. Thank you Trump! You two-bit Whore-in-Chief. You lying sack of orange-tinted turd. Small ISPs eh? Your supporters are even more stupid than what I had thought if they believe your grabage.

    1. @Harry Haller: Trump will find out what he signed off on when they sell HIS or his family’s internet history. This should be good, honestly. (popping popcorn) Then we will see this repealed… if he is still in office by then.

  7. Skeeter Sanders

    Even before the revocation of internet privacy rules by this newly-signed law, I began using a virtual private network (VPN) exclusively whenever I go online. I use it not only on my laptop, but also on my smartphone. And I make sure that the VPN servers I use are servers outside the United States, in countries that take internet privacy far more seriously than the U.S.

    I agree that VPN usage will increase sharply as a result of this new law.

  8. Things I learned from the comments on this post:
    -Stating facts and professional opinions equals taking political sides.
    -Commenters know more than the professionals that they hire to cyber-protect them.
    -Commenters bash the messenger and keep doing what they are doing because they …well they just want to.
    -So few outside the tech field have any idea what any of this is about until it affects them directly.
    -panic will ensure in December and commenters will bash PCMatic for not warning them…even though they did.

    Thanks for the lesson.

    1. @Chris H: Well said Son. The messenger shooting comment is about spot on. Whoever a person supports politically shouldn’t make them blind to regressive or genuinely concerning developments.
      If an individual is too ‘simple’ to understand the risks being discussed here, then perhaps they can’t be blamed for their lack of education or limited comprehension abilities, but they are ENTIRELY at fault if they allow their political view to send them sleep walking into this ‘give-away’ of personal security.
      Wise up kids.

  9. douglas johnson

    We need a blocker for all advertisements that will block everyone from sending emails, spam and any communications not requested.

  10. The original executive order was a gift to google and face book removing competition allowing them more info to sell. Probably worth billions. They are big Dem supporters. If they wanted to protect us they would have included every business.

  11. Read this article by By Ajit Pai and Maureen Ohlhausen — Ajit Pai is chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Maureen Ohlhausen is acting chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.

    April Fools’ Day came early last week, as professional lobbyists lit a wildfire of misinformation about Congress’s action — signed into law Monday by President Trump — to nullify the Federal Communications Commission’s broadband privacy rules. So as the nation’s chief communications regulator and the nation’s chief privacy enforcer, we want to let the American people know what’s really going on and how we will ensure that consumers’ online privacy is protected.

    Let’s set the record straight: First, despite hyperventilating headlines, Internet service providers have never planned to sell your individual browsing history to third parties. That’s simply not how online advertising works. And doing so would violate ISPs’ privacy promises. Second, Congress’s decision last week didn’t remove existing privacy protections; it simply cleared the way for us to work together to reinstate a rational and effective system for protecting consumer privacy.

    Both of us warned two years ago that the FCC’s party-line vote to strip the Federal Trade Commission of its jurisdiction over Internet broadband providers was a mistake that would weaken Americans’ online privacy. Up until that decision, the FTC was an effective cop on the privacy beat, using a consistent framework for protecting privacy and data security throughout the entire Internet ecosystem. Indeed, under that framework, the FTC carried out more than 150 enforcement actions, including actions against some of the nation’s largest Internet companies.

    1. @TerryM: You know this has the same stench as the FCC suggestion the removing ownership regulations of radio station, it would allow ‘mom & pop’ to expand!
      When ever law makers say it’s for the little guy….the corporate CEO is short!
      The head of the FCC was a lobbiest for the telecoms.

      1. @Bob Makson: Most all of the mom and pop stations in our area are gone! The fm band is being bought by the big companies and now they are trying to let newspapers own stations. Here comes really fake news! Removal of the overlapping coverage rules and allowing the same entities own more than one station in the same coverage areas has overcrowded the fm band. The AMers cant afford to compete. The FCC is really out in Left field when it comes to management of the spectrum!

        1. I agree! However, if you believe the FCC has the public’s best interest in mind, you are sadly mistaken! No mom & pop ISP or radio station has enough cash/credit to buy another. Just look to those mom & pop outfits like Clear Chanel or Comcast (add your own here)

  12. These companies can sell MY information to whoever they want. This is information about ME, so where is MY share in the $$$$?

  13. I think the real issue is about consumer choice. I have no problem with companies gleaning marketing information from my habits as long as it is optional and preferably that there is some benefit to me. I use loyalty cards because they give me a small reward in return for the information the card yields. I also have my samsung TV signed up to a service which collects my viewing data in return for which I get a £5 amazon voucher each month. The point is that I give this data voluntarily and the rewards prove to me that this data has real value. I am simply saying that if you want my usage data then pay me for it! As someone else has said it is pie in the sky to think that you will automatically get cheaper internet. I don’t think that you can comment on computer issues without ever mentioning politics because politics do affect what happens sometimes. Trump appears to be more “company” oriented than “consumer” oriented which is what you expect from any republican president that’s all.

    1. I am not overly concerned about this news.
      When my browsing data will become a business, to protect them we must turn to those who, again to do business, will protect them, for a fee of course.
      What most leaves me astonished, the face of evidence that political choices anywhere in the world affect our lives and our society, is that most of the comments offended because someone fortunately still talks about it and I can talk.@gbswales:

  14. The new executive order did not change anything, it just maintains the status quo. Since politics has already been injected by the article, try this on for size: The future regulation being repealed simply rewarded major contributors by restricting others from doing what Google and Facebook were doing to give them a better revenue stream from their sales. It was a crony regulation that was repealed. That is part of “Draining the swamp.” I am far from a Trump enthusiast, but I am for a less myopic view of his actions.

  15. PC Matic folks…stick with your great not enter field of politics, and for Pete sake, at least be factual with your ‘garbage so called journalism’. Robert Connors, Elaine, Jo Barry, and others have it right.

  16. The most effective means of preventing ISP’s from “abusing” your privacy is consumer complaints and lawsuits by private lawyers. As it is, there is an endless stream of lawsuits accusing Internet companies of “spying” or “hacking.” All it will take is a few notorious examples of abuse for the ISP’s to back down.

    The vast majority will never use VPNs routinely because it is way too much trouble and too complicated for them.

  17. Whoa! When a non-political business mixes political rhetoric with business, the ending result is often a loss of business. I’m certain that there are other programs that I can use that won’t invoke the President’s name as they describe their “beliefs”. Using a “blame thrower” just spreads the hate. PC Pitstop, please feel free to invite me back when you are ready to make your business about technology and not politics!

    1. @Jo Barry:
      Me feelings exactly, Jo. It looks like everyone that writes any type of article for any publication thinks they need to make their articles political now. I read this section to learn new and interesting ways to do things. I DO NOT read it to get my daily dose of political indoctrination. Keep the politics out.

    2. @Jo Barry:
      Well said, Jo. I am also sick of anyone and everyone thinking they can slag off the President of the United States and do so without repercussion.
      i know I am only a small voice but I am cancelling my subscription to PCPitstop until they decide to stick to technology and leave the politics to others.

    3. @Jo Barry: Agreed. This article is nothing but clickbait. Wayne Rash at eWeek took the time to actually research and explain the decision, which turns out to be a total non-issue.

  18. All President Trump did was revoke an FCC rule made late last year that had been scheduled to go into effect sometime in the near future. ISPs have had the ability to sell your data all along. The reason the rule was revoked is because it did not cover non-ISPs such as Google, Facebook, etc. If the rule had gone into effect as scheduled, it would place ISPs at a disadvantage compared to others who CAN sell your data (non-ISPs). The revocation of the rule only served to make things equal between all internet players who sell data. What we need is a rule that would prohibit anyone for selling personal data of any kind without a person’s explicit permission.

    Making it sound like President Trump did something that would cause privacy problems for consumers is a disservice to your readers. This is a non-story.

    1. @Robert Connors: There’s a fundamental difference between Google/Facebook and ISPs, such as Comcast or Time Warner. First of all, Google and other non-ISP Internet companies cannot see your browsing history. In fact, for services like Google Search, you can use it completely anonymously, if desired. Secondly, you have a choice whether to use Google, Facebook, etc. Each has numerous competitors offering varying degrees of privacy protection, or you can simply not use them at all. For many consumers, they have no choice in ISP. Comcast, Time Warner or whomever is the only provider in their area. The choice is Internet vs no Internet.

      It’s also spurious to claim that ISPs would be at a “disadvantage” compared to Facebook or Google. They’re in different businesses providing different services.

      I agree with you, though, about the need for rules on selling any personal data. Is there anything about the recent actions that suggest to you this is the direction Trump is headed?

      1. @Josh:

        I beg to differ. Through use of cookies, vendors such as Amazon, Facebook and others certainly can track your browsing information. That is why most browsers have settings to block tracking if a user so desires. I get targeted ads all the time after visiting such sites. They ARE selling my data. ISPs know what IP address I accessed but they do not know what content I viewed at that IP per se. They only know the title of the page I viewed. For example, if I view a product on Amazon I may be interested in, when I visit completely unrelated sites, I see ads not only for the very product I viewed but, also, similar products I haven’t viewed. I don’t think an ISP has that information specifically.

        I do not presume to know anything about where President Trump is headed in this regard.

        By the way, the article was incorrect in stating that “…President Trump signed a law repealing ISP regulations…” What he did was sign an Executive Order the repealed a regulation, not yet in effect, that was implemented by the FCC last year shortly before the election. It was not a law. So, nothing in essence has changed since the regulation had never been implemented but was scheduled to be implemented late this year.

        1. @Robert Connors: It’s important to understand the difference between how a site like Amazon tracks you vs what your ISP can do. Amazon tracks you through a cookie (small code snippet) in your browser. So if you visit another site that uses the same cookie system as Amazon, it will recognize that browser cookie and may show you ads related to what that browser previously saw on Amazon. While Amazon can recognize your browser through that cookie, it doesn’t know who is behind the browser unless you logged into Amazon when you were browsing – it just knows that this browser once looked at pregnancy tests on Amazon. And, as you noted, it’s really easy to block cookies in your browser, if desired, so Amazon can’t track you at all. Or, simply don’t use Amazon – totally your choice.

          On the other hand, your ISP can track every site you visit, every single page you visit on those sites, and even the specific content on those pages which aren’t protected by SSL. Plus, they can connect that information directly back to you, not just an anonymous browser. So your ISP could track that Jane Smith, 123 Main Street, SSN# 123-45-6789 browsed pregnancy tests on Amazon, then went to a page on WebMD about congenital heart defects, then researched paternity testing, then visited a divorce lawyer’s site, etc…And there’s no way to prevent your ISP from doing that except by paying extra money to use a VPN, which will also significantly slow down your Internet speeds (and may create additional privacy issues).

          So two very different levels of privacy risk here, and two very different levels of ability for consumers to control that risk.

  19. So US wants user data to be at the mercy of commercial enterprise, while here in the UK the govt wants the same access. Well they can all go hang as far as I’m concerned. I have doors on my house to keep my family safe. Looks like I’ll be putting in a VPN for the same reason. Why should I trust my personal data to any of them? Expecting it will bring down costs is pie in the sky. All our services were privatised and costs have consistently outpaced inflation.

  20. ISPs were already selling my browsing history and habits. It becoming “legal” changes literally nothing.

    Slow news day today?

  21. Once again, Trump got it right. As ISPs benefit from this new revenue stream they will be able to sustain shareholder equity, creating one of two scenerios. First lower subscriber monthly usage fees, or better yet eliminate them altogether. Second, increase ISP competitors in the market thereby lowering monthly subscriber fees.

    1. @Billdad: ISPs have the “benefit” today of this revenue stream. The new (now repealed) law would have blocked it when it went into effect later this year. How has your ISP been doing with lowering monthly fees and increasing competition?

  22. PC Pitstop-Shame on you! Invoking partisan politics to push what Agenda?? Please provide facts not beliefs. I would like a day where someone is not blaming someone else because of what someone believes!

    1. @Jo Barry: The “agenda” is consumer privacy and the belief that consumers should be able to browse the Internet without their ISP tracking and selling their browsing data. The fact is that ISPs can do that today and, because of the repeal of the law, will be able to continue to do that indefinitely. The only “belief” here is whether you are okay with that. If you “believe” ISPs should be able to do that, then this isn’t a concern for you. I believe something different.

      1. @Josh:
        Josh, you should have stated that opinion in your article rather than pushing it out with such a politically charged headline. IPS’s sell our data today and they will still sell it tomorrow. Nothing new, nothing changed. If you don’t like that then you should publish articles about how you would deny the ISP providers this type of information and what we as consumers can do to protect ourselves from current and future activities. Please do not try to make this out as something new and dangerous that has never happened before. That is just a plain lie. I expect better of the techtalk section than this.

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