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Congress votes to kill landmark broadband privacy regulations

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The House voted Tuesday to kill landmark privacy restrictions for Internet service providers and sent the bill to the White House, indicating it will receive a signature rom President Trump, effectively invalidating the rules before they go into effect.

The measure, approved largely along party lines, repeals tough new Federal Communications Commission regulations that would require broadband companies to obtain explicit customer permission before using or sharing most of their personal information. That data includes health information, website browsing history, app usage and the geographic information from mobile devices.

The rules also tighten data security requirements.

Republicans, along with support from AT&T, Charter Communications Inc., Comcast Corp. and other providers of high-speed Internet, strongly opposed the new rules and regulations. They argued that the restrictions are stricter than those for websites and social networks that also collect and use the highly valuable consumer data, which companies use to target advertising.

“These broadband privacy rules are unnecessary and are just another example of big government overreach,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who sponsored the repeal bill.

“The FCC’s flawed broadband privacy rules will have a chilling effect on internet innovation and competition,” said Gary Shapiro, head of the Consumer Technology Association.

However, supporters of the new changes, including Democrats, consumer groups and privacy advocates, fear that Internet service providers are putting together dossiers on their customers without their consent.

Broadband companies serve as the gatekeepers of Internet access, the data collected by these companies should be held to a different standard, supporters opined.

“Broadband providers are in the unique position of seeing everything we do on the Internet,” said Rep. Anna Eshoo, a Democrat from Menlo Park, Calif.

“Consumers don’t pay to use search engines or social media applications…. If they don’t like Google’s privacy policy they can switch over to Bing without paying any fees,” she said. “But consumers can’t do that with Internet service providers.”

Because of Trump’s election, along with Republican majorities in the House and Senate, it was possible for conservatives to use a rare procedure to repeal regulations enacted by a federal agency. By a vote of 215-205, House approval came after the Republican-controlled Senate narrowly voted last week for the repeal measure.

The White House said Tuesday that President Trump “strongly supports” the repeal. The president’s advisors would recommend he sign the bill, the White House said in a statement.

Michael Copps, former chairman of the FCC, called the vote a clear example of big businesses influence in professional politics.

“Big cable and big telecom have struck again,” said Copps. “If this bill is signed by the president, broadband providers will have free rein to sell user data to the highest bidder – without ever informing consumers….What a perversion of what the internet was supposed to be.”

Fifteen Republicans broke ranks with House leadership and voted against the resolution, including Justin Amash and Kevin Yoder, who often speaks out on privacy issues. No Democrat voted for the measure.

After Republicans took over the FCC’s majority with Trump’s inauguration, the agency voted 2 to 1 along party lines this month to halt the first of the new privacy regulations that were scheduled to go into effect the next day. That provision dealt with new data security requirements.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who voted against the rules in October, said the delay would give the agency time to consider formal requests from trade groups representing Internet service providers to reconsider the regulations.

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Indian national dies in ICE custody in Arizona

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Indian Man dies ICE

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Diya TV) — An Indian national died in Arizona near the California border while being held in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the second person in a month to die at that location.

ICE officials said 21 year old Simratpal Singh was found unresponsive and not breathing while he awaited transfer to an ICE facility. ICE said earlier that day, Singh posted bond on charges of assault and sexual assault.

The Wadhwani Institute, led by Romesh and Sunil Wadhwani, won a $2M Google grant for an AI project which aims to help farmers control crop pests.

In Washington DC, Gita Gopinath, the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, received the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award from Indian Ambassador Harsh Shringla.

And Facebook co-founder and Mark Zuckerberg’s former roommate Chris Hughes, in an op-ed, called for the breakup of the social network.

Zoom Founder & CEO Eric Yuan, among other prominent tech scions, flocked to TiECON over the weekend. We have full coverage including our exclusive one on ones with some of the prominent leaders in Silicon Valley.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Blasts near major Sufi shrine in Lahore kills 10, wounds many

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Sufi Shrine bomb

LAHORE, Pakistan (Diya TV) — Pakistani police say a bomb targeting their forces guarding a Sufi shrine in Lahore killed at least ten people, with many more wounded. Among the dead are civilians, police officers and a security guard. Hundreds of people were nearby to mark Ramadan at the time of the explosion. The Pakistani Taliban is claiming responsibility for the attack.

After the New York Times released details how President Trump lost roughly $1 billion in the 1980s and 1990s, more than nearly any other American, Trump took to Twitter to defend his approach, saying his use of tax shelters was a “sport.”

As the world celebrates his 150th birth anniversary, New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney expects Mahatma Gandhi to be honored this year posthumously with the Congressional Gold Medal, America’s highest civilian award.

And global digital payment network Mastercard says they will invest $1 billion in India over the next 5 years, roughly one-third of which will be spent to set up a local payment processing center.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Colorado Muslim restaurateurs win $675K in discrimination suit

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Colorado Muslim restaurateurs

DENVER (Diya TV) — A Colorado court ruled in favor of father and son restaurateurs Zuned & Rashad Khan to the tune of $675,000 after a landlord refused to sublease a restaurant space to them because they are Muslim.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Indian Minister of Commerce Suresh Prabhu met in New Delhi to talk trade and commerce. Bilateral ties between the nations grew more than 12% from 2017 to 2018.

In Sacramento, ten names of officers killed in the line of duty were added to the California Peace Officers’ memorial, including Corporal Ronil Singh of the Newman Police Department.

And investing icon Warren Buffett said Gregory Able and Ajit Jain, who are both on the Berkshire Hathaway board of directors, would join him and business partner Charlie Munger on the stage to answer shareholder questions in the near future.

Jain is credited with being a driving force behind Berkshire Hathaway’s success in insurance.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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