New rules will soon be introduced that will give regulators new authority to regulate intermediary services as well as traditional intermediaries that help people connect online.
These new regulations, known as a Digital Interface Registration (DIR) or DIR, were proposed by the Federal Communications Commission and are expected to be approved by the FCC in the coming weeks.
The new rules, which are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) 2017 Open Internet Order, will affect thousands of intermediaries, including internet service providers (ISPs) and mobile phone providers (MPLPs).
The rules are expected not only to help regulate intermediaries more effectively, but also to help protect consumers from unwanted content, unwanted advertising, and abusive or illegal behavior on the internet.
“The Digital Interface Registry is an important tool for the FCC to help it make the Internet a more fair, open, and welcoming place,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement.
“This will help ensure the Internet remains a safe and open place for everyone, and that all of us can participate in our online lives with confidence.”
The new regulations are expected, among other things, to prevent ISPs from blocking, throttling, or otherwise interfering with websites, services, or applications.
The regulation will also give regulators more authority to protect consumers when they’re using Internet services.
“A DIR is a tool that will help regulators regulate intermediates, including those that help consumers connect online,” FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said in an announcement.
“By establishing the new rules in the Federal Register, we’re establishing the necessary regulatory authority to enforce them, which will help consumers access and use the Internet more effectively.”
In the meantime, the rules will remain on the books.
“We have taken an unprecedented step to give regulators greater regulatory authority over intermediaries,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in the announcement.
Pai said the new regulations will give ISPs and other Internet service providers “more tools to enforce their terms of services, terms and conditions, privacy policies, and other protections against unlawful and unfair conduct.”
While these new regulations won’t come into effect until next year, the Federal Government has already begun drafting a plan for how to apply the new regulation.
The plan, titled “An Open Internet for America,” was released on January 6.
It includes new rules for intermediaries such as internet service provider (ISP) providers and mobile network operators (MNOs) that serve mobile internet service, as well, and the rules for ISPs, including rules to allow for greater access to content on the Internet, more choices for consumers, and better enforcement of their terms and service.
“Our rules are designed to help prevent abusive and illegal conduct on the web,” Pai said.
“That’s why it’s essential that the FCC also adopt a strong set of rules to protect consumer rights.”
Pai added that the new DIRs will help regulate online intermediaries in a way that’s not too burdensome.
“For the first time in history, the federal government is establishing an industry standard to regulate intermediary services, so that they can more effectively serve the public interest and serve the interests of consumers,” Pai added.
“It’s time to protect the interests and freedoms of consumers and create a more open, fair, and free Internet.”