Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding net neutrality. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me on this important issue.
The Internet has revolutionized how we learn, shop, communicate, innovate, and do business. Small businesses across Texas thrive off a free and open Internet. But since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took a drastic step during the closing days of the Obama Administration to apply a 1930s-era ‘Title II’ regulation to the Internet, costs for consumers skyrocketed, innovation was hindered and broadband deployment decreased significantly, particularly in rural America.
Simply put, these rules would have given the federal government unchecked authority over the Internet and destroyed the light-touch framework that has protected a free and open Internet for the past 20 years. Claims that Congress and the Trump Administration are disabling long-standing privacy regulations are simply inaccurate, given the Obama Administration’s decision was nothing less than a federal takeover of the Internet.
Americans’ data is regulated under Section 222 of Title 47 of the U.S. Code. The recent proposal unveiled by the new FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, would end political uncertainty of internet regulation, restore the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) jurisdiction over privacy practices and unite privacy law under a single, clear framework. In case you were not aware, the FTC has previous experience overseeing consumer online-privacy rights and has been able to enhance innovation and jobs in its prior competitive state.
Please know that the new privacy protections have not yet been finalized, but my colleagues and I are working to ensure that any possible regulatory or legislative solution ultimately protects the principles of a free and open Internet. Most importantly, I believe it is imperative for the federal government to encourage marketplace consistency to ensure that the Internet is open, available, fast, and reliable for all Americans.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me and share your views on such an important issue. Should you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 202.225.2231 or Sessions.LegStaff@mail.house.gov. I look forward to hearing from you in the future.
Member of Congress