GOP scraps privacy rules

In a March 23 party-line vote, the U.S. Senate acted to scuttle Federal Communications Commission rules protecting members of the public from having their data shared or sold by internet service providers, cable and cellphone companies. The House followed suit this week.

Nevada’s Sen. Dean Heller joined with all voting Republicans to block the FCC rules, and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto voted with all Democrats to retain them. The vote on Senate Joint Resolution 34 was 50-48. GOP Sens. John Isakson and Ron Paul did not vote.

The rules adopted by the FCC last year by the panel’s Democratic majority would have required internet service providers to obtain affirmative “opt-in” approval from customers before they could share information. The rule would have forbidden corporations from sharing information about customers’ “browsing” habits.

Then on March 28, the U.S. House, too, voted 215 to 205 to kill the rules. At press time we were unable to learn if the House voted on party lines, but the Nevada delegation did. Republican Mark Amodei voted to kill the FCC rules while Democrats Dina Titus, Jacky Rosen and Ruben Kihuen supported them.