Federal agencies intend to sign Memorandum of Understanding to allocate enforcement responsibilities
The Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced their intent to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under which the two agencies would coordinate online consumer protection efforts following the adoption of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order.
The Memorandum of Understanding will be a critical benefit for online consumers because it outlines the robust process by which the FCC and FTC will safeguard the public interest, said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Instead of saddling the Internet with heavy-handed regulations, we will work together to take targeted action against bad actors. This approach protected a free and open Internet for many years prior to the FCCs 2015 Title II Order and it will once again following the adoption of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order.
The FTC is committed to ensuring that Internet service providers live up to the promises they make to consumers, said Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen. The MOU we are developing with the FCC, in addition to the decades of FTC law enforcement experience in this area, will help us carry out this important work.
The draft MOU, which is being released today, outlines a number of ways in which the FCC and FTC will work together to protect consumers, including:
The FCCs proposed Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which the agency is expected to vote on at its December 14 meeting, would reverse a 2015 agency decision to reclassify broadband Internet access service as a Title II common carrier service. This previous decision stripped the FTC of its authority to protect consumers and promote competition with respect to Internet service providers because the FTC does not have jurisdiction over common carrier activities.
The FCCs Restoring Internet Freedom Order would return jurisdiction to the FTC to police the conduct of ISPs, including with respect to their privacy practices. Once adopted, the order will also require broadband Internet access service providers to disclose their network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of service. As the nations top consumer protection agency, the FTC will be responsible for holding these providers to the promises they make to consumers.
The Federal Communications Commission is responsible for implementing and enforcing Americas communications law and regulations. You can learn more about the FCCs initiatives here and file a consumer complaint online or visit the consumer help center. Like the FCC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and read our blogs for the latest FCC news and resources.
The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.