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Schumer To Trump: Veto Bill That Would Let Internet Service Providers Sell User Browsing Data

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on President Donald Trump Sunday to veto legislation relaxing privacy rules for internet service providers.

Last week, Congress sent President Trump legislation that would kill an online privacy regulation -- a move that could eventually allow internet providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon to sell the browsing habits of their customers.

The Federal Communications Commission rule issued in October was designed to give consumers greater control over how internet service providers share information. But critics said the rule would have stifled innovation and picked winners and losers among Internet companies.

The House voted 215-205 to reject the rule. The Senate had already voted to the block it.

Schumer said Trump should consider the bill's impact on consumers and veto it.

There's still one chance – one last-chance shot – for consumers, and it rests on the president's desk," Schumer said. "And now, President Trump has just nine days to tell us whose side it's really on."

Schumer said if Trump signs the bill, the effects would be devastating.

"If President Trump clicks his pen and signs this bill, consumers will be stripped of critical privacy protections in a New York minute," he said.

The vote by Congress was part of an extensive effort that Republicans have undertaken to void an array of regulations issued during the final months of Democratic President Barack Obama's tenure. But the vote was closer this time with 15 Republicans siding with Democrats in the effort to keep the rule in place.

Internet companies like Google don't have to ask users' permission before tracking what sites they visit. Republicans and industry groups have blasted that discrepancy, saying it was unfair and confusing for consumers.

But proponents of the privacy measure argued that the company that sells you your internet connection can see even more about consumers, such as every website they visit and whom they exchange emails with. That information would be particularly useful for advertisers and marketers.

Republicans repeatedly discounted the privacy benefits generated by the rule. Over the last two months, they've voted to repeal more than a dozen Obama-era regulations in the name of curbing government overreach.

Schumer and 46 other Senate Democrats have signed a letter calling on Trump to veto the bill doing away with the rule.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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