The Conservative Case Against Trashing Online Privacy Rules

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Protecting Internet privacy should be a bipartisan issue, right? After all, Americans seem united in their dislike of the phone and cable behemoths that dominate internet service in the US. “At the end of the day, it’s your data,” says Rep Warren Davidson (R-OH), who voted against the repeal. “I don’t see how it could be anyone else’s.”For most Republicans, it seems, someone else’s private property rights took precedence: the cable and phone companies themselves.

Rep Davidson says he believes most of his colleagues subscribed to the free-market reasoning that because the ISPs built the networks, they could do with them what they pleased. But many people don’t have access to more than one home broadband provider–particularly in many of the rural districts that Republicans represent. And, if money can’t really explain the polarization on internet privacy, then what? Republicans traditionally recoil from government regulation—but the FCC’s regulations carried a special taint: the agency passed them under the Obama administration.


The Conservative Case Against Trashing Online Privacy Rules