The Federal Communications Commission is trying to regulate the way the Internet works.
If it succeeds, it will create a system in which the government can decide what content gets shared on the Internet, and it will also give the government the power to determine how companies treat the content they share.
The agency has already issued several “prescriptive orders” requiring ISPs to create a way for the government to seize data and force it to hand over to the government in bulk, even though most Americans say they want their personal data to remain private.
It’s a big deal.
The FCC, a body created by Congress, has never done anything like this before.
But it’s not alone in trying to create such rules.
The Obama administration, for instance, recently issued an executive order requiring ISPs like AT&T and Verizon to handover their customer information to the Federal Trade Commission.
The order applies only to U.S. residents, and does not apply to foreign countries, but it’s likely to be a huge boon for telecoms, which will likely be able to get access to information that the FTC wouldn’t have.
In addition to its new orders, the FCC is also planning to create rules that would require ISPs to collect and store information about users, including their browsing history and IP addresses, and they could also require ISPs and service providers to share customer data with the FTC.
These rules will likely lead to a flood of new content and services on the Web.
But the FCC has been trying to get the rules adopted for more than a decade.
The new orders are part of a broader effort to address the problems that plague the Internet as a whole, and the FCC’s approach is a huge departure from the Obama administration’s approach to the Internet.
“The FCC’s proposed rules are the first step in creating a more robust and consistent approach to cybersecurity,” FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said in a statement.
“This is a critical step forward in protecting our nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure and its citizens from cyber threats.
We must ensure that the internet is a safe place for people to come and share information, use services, and connect to each other, and we must be vigilant against online intrusions.”
The FCC’s rules could come into effect in a few months, but critics say they won’t protect consumers and will do little to help the country’s security.
The White House, meanwhile, is urging Congress to reject the FCC orders and replace them with rules that can protect consumers.
But that could be difficult to do.
There are some provisions in the bills that could make it easier to get rid of these rules, but the rules are so broad that they could potentially be used by the FCC to stop a company from providing a service that would otherwise be legal, for example.
The rules would also have to be reauthorized every three years, meaning that if Congress fails to pass a law to repeal them by then, they’ll go into effect for every new FCC president.
Congress should pass the bill to get these rules on the books, said Laura Wasserstrom, policy director for the digital rights group Fight for the Future.
The biggest concern is that these rules would be used as an excuse to create new privacy rules.
“If the FCC wants to be proactive and not reactive, it needs to put in place rules to protect the privacy of Americans,” Wasserstroem said.
“And they need to protect consumers’ rights to choose and use their data.”
This article originally appeared on The Lad.