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President Donald Trump’s new internet policy jeopardizes the personal privacy of Americans

Gianna Dallman - Staff Writer, Landon Ferris - Photographer

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On April 4, 2017, President Trump signed the repeal of the Federal Communications Commission’s legislation pertaining to internet providers selling and sharing people’s browsing history. Previously, the Obama administration supported Congress’s decision not to pass this as a bill; however, the Trump administration believes the legislation will ensure economic prosperity. Via personalized advertisements as a result of internet provider’s ability to see one’s search history, internet browser companies are planning to cultivate an entirely customized world of advertisements on every computer, smartphone and television.

The chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, developed the idea of removing security restrictions to benefit internet providers and the economy. Being in charge of the FCC and the fate of the 5 largest internet providers in America, Pai is dictating a sixth of all money generated in the American economy. According to a study conducted by economist Stephen Siwek, the internet industry was worth 996 billion dollars in 2014. Pai has yet to discuss the projected amount of revenue that will be generated by the repeal of the legislation but has assured Congress it is a necessity.

The repeal itself entails many new and possibly concerning changes to the public’s security. A highly disputed aspect of the legislation is the ability for internet providers to see any person’s previous and current legal documents. This means that social security numbers, living payments, tax documents, personal information and more are on display and have the potential to be traded and sold by internet companies.

The repeal itself has been in the works since June of 2015 when the Obama Administration repealed many smaller restrictions placed upon internet providers to boost the economy as well. President Obama’s original changes to internet privacy were detested by the American people but easily passed in Congress with both parties agreeing it would generate more money for the country. President Trump’s signing of the new repeal, which entails far less privacy for citizens, was surprisingly widely supported by citizens and caused more of a stir among Congress. Older demographics in the US seem to be indifferent to the legislation while millennials seem to disagree with its passage.

“The repeal is very concerning to me,” said junior Sam Barnett. “While it’s hopefully going to be beneficial to the economy, it seems like a large sacrifice of privacy on behalf of Americans.”

President Trump’s approval of the FFC’s push to repeal privacy laws for internet providers has the potential to make large amounts of money for the country. While privacy is being minimized, the companies will most surely be monitored in their selling and trading of private information by congress.

 

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President Donald Trump’s new internet policy jeopardizes the personal privacy of Americans