FCC to be led by Ajit Pai, staunch opponent of consumer protection rules

Ex-Verizon lawyer Pai will take “weed whacker” to net neutrality under Trump. Pai consistently opposed consumer protection regulations during the three-year chairmanship of Democrat Tom Wheeler, who left the FCC today. Pai opposed net neutrality rules and, after Trump's victory, said those rules' "days are numbered."

Donald Trump’s Executive Order Will Let Private Equity Funds Drain Your 401(k)

Donald Trump’s February 3executive order  enabling financial advisers to continue ripping off their clients could prove a lifeline for a surprising beneficiary: the private equity  industry. The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule would have forced investment advisers in workplace retirement plans like 401(k)s to operate in their clients’ best interests, rather than recommending high-cost, high-risk products that offer the advisers kickbacks and perks.

Here's how much Comcast paid members of Congress to sell your browser history

Just over two months into the Trump administration, Republicans in  Congress have undone numerous regulations put in place by former  President Barack Obama. On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed a bill — along party lines — that would allow Americans’ internet histories to be bought and sold by large telecom companies like Comcast (Xfinity), Verizon and AT&T, without their knowledge or consent. The U.S. Senate did the same thing a week ago.

The 265 members of Congress who sold you out to ISPs, and how much it cost to buy them

Republicans in Congress just voted to reverse a landmark FCC privacy rule  that opens the door for ISPs to sell customer data. Lawmakers provided  no credible reason for this being in the interest of Americans, except for vague platitudes about “consumer choice” and “free markets,” as if consumers at the mercy of their local internet monopoly are craving to have their web history quietly sold to marketers and any other third party willing to pay.

Ajit Pai’s net neutrality plan is nonsense – The Verge

Three stories about FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to roll back net neutrality dropped over the course of last night into this morning, all containing basically the same information. He Met with major telecom lobbying groups on Tuesday. He Thinks net neutrality is bad and wants to roll back the FCC’s Title II classification that made it happen. But also plans to have broadband providers stick net neutrality promises in their terms of service agreements. So that the FTC can enforce those agreements instead of the FCC

It’s official: the FCC has started rolling back net neutrality protections

The new Republican majority on the Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to begin the process of rolling back Barack Obama’s network neutrality rules. These rules were designed to ensure that all online content and services get equal treatment online. But Trump’s choice to lead the FCC, Ajit Pai, argues that they represent unnecessary government meddling in the internet’s infrastructure.

How Congress dismantled federal Internet privacy rules

Congressional Republicans knew their plan was potentially explosive. They wanted to kill landmark privacy regulations that would soon ban Internet providers, such as Comcast and AT&T, from storing and selling customers’ browsing histories without their express consent. So after weeks of closed-door debates on Capitol Hill over who would take up the issue first — the House or the Senate — Republican members settled on a secret strategy, according to Hill staff and lobbyists involved in the battle. While the nation was distracted by the House’s pending vote to repeal Obamacare, Senate Republicans would schedule a vote to wipe out the new privacy protections.

DeVos Is Discarding College Policies That New Evidence Shows Are Effective

In June, the secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, announced plans to dismantle a set of Obama-era policies devised to protect students and  taxpayers from predatory for-profit colleges. Yet data released in the final days of the previous administration shows that the existing rules have proved more effective at shutting down bad college programs than even the most optimistic backers could have hoped.

U.S. Agency Moves to Allow Class-Action Lawsuits Against Financial Firms

The nation’s consumer watchdog is adopting a rule on Monday that would pry open the courtroom doors for millions of Americans, restoring their right to bring class-action lawsuits against financial firms. Under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule, banks and credit card companies could no longer force customers into  arbitration and block them from banding together to file a class-action suit. The change would deal a serious blow to Wall Street and could wind up costing financial firms billions of dollars.

The Latest Sneaky Attempt to Increase Corporate Political Power

The House’s appropriations bill, includes riders that would further pare back campaign finance rules that have already been decimated over the last decade, in large part through Supreme Court decisions such as Citizens United and McCutcheon v. FEC. These rulings and a Congress hell-bent on deregulating the campaign finance system has lead to increasingly expensive elections, with the money that helps candidates win often pouring in from anonymous interests. Watchdog groups and journalists call these billions from shadowy sources “dark money.”