On March 30, the Portland Press Herald published an editorial (“Our View: Congress alters notion of privacy in digital age“) that was as inaccurate as it was unfair to U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin.

This is not about “providing the giants in the telecommunications industry a new market,” as you assert. It’s about pulling back on government overreach in the private marketplace and actually improving online privacy.

Criticism of Congress’ recent vote to repeal Federal Communications Commission privacy regulations promulgated under President Barack Obama is based on a false premise. To say that internet service providers “have access … to every site you visit, every physical location you go to and every app you use” is simply not true. And even if it were, there are still strong privacy protections in place today that prohibit the use of consumer data by all players in the internet marketplace. The FCC’s privacy rules were more about supporting one group of internet players – social platforms, search engines and content creators – over another – internet service providers, likely for political reasons. They were also a blatant power grab by the FCC to take lawful authority away from the Federal Trade Commission, which has had jurisdiction over this issue for decades. This is government overreach at its worst.

I thank Sen. Collins and Rep. Poliquin for their principled vote, and encourage them to continue to put fact over fiction when making important legislative decisions, and protecting Mainers from government encroachment.

Ben Trundy