Well the new administration got a big victory last week finally. They can now proudly stand up and say they made it legal for internet providers to capture your browser info and sell it off to other companies. Now your internet experience can be one of constant annoying ads and wondering where the hell somebody got information about that medical condition you have.
Hats off to you senators and representatives who are more than willing to sell OUR privacy for a few of those legalized bribes known as “campaign contributions.” Remember that those campaign contributions have been allowed to be pretty much uncontrolled since the Republican majority on the Supreme Court handed down one of the worst decisions ever in the Citizens United v. FEC in January of 2010.
A big tip of the hat to the folks at the Verge who put together what each member of congress got in “contributions” for their vote to sell YOUR privacy. As the Verge notes, it was chump change in the world of high dollar lobbying these days.
The link above lists all 265 congress members who voted for the bill and what they have gotten from those representing the ISPs. Take a look if you want to see who got what around the country. For our purposes we’ll take a look at what Iowa members received for their YES vote. Remember this will not include Congressman Dave Loebsack who has the good sense not to vote for such crap.
Also remember that this is for only the most recent election cycle, so Joni Ernst wouldn’t be of huge interest because she was not running in 2016:
Joni Ernst – $ 28,200
Chuck Grassley $135,125 (that’s more like it)
Rod Blum $ 5,500 (talk about chump change)
Steve King $ 20,500
David Young $ 41,750 (that’s what we are talking about!)
But in today’s high dollar environment only Grassley and his former staffer, David Young, seem to grasp the potential of selling off our privacy.
Unfortunately, retribution for this vote can’t be had soon enough. The next election is not for a year and a half. By then a vote such as this will be most likely forgotten – although all the ads and crap you will get every time you sign on may be a reminder. Of course you can call their offices and lodge a complaint – and I hope you do – but I honestly doubt they care. You will get the usual blow off response from the staffers who will sound like they care about your concern. Most likely that may be followed by an official letter that says nothing.
They really don’t care unless you can match some of those dollars noted above.
But someone has come up with a unique idea to try to let those congress member know how it feels to have their privacy invaded. Over at searchinternethistory.com plans to search the internet history of any congress member that voted to screw over your privacy and make it available for everyone to comb through:
“Everything from their medical, pornographic, to their financial and infidelity.
Anything they have looked at, searched for, or visited on the Internet will now be available for everyone to comb through.
Since we didn’t get an opportunity to vote on whether our private and personal browsing history should be bought and sold, I wanted to show our legislators what a democracy is like. So, I’m giving you the opportunity to vote on whose history gets bought first.
Help me raise money to buy the histories of those who took away your right to privacy. Some did it for just thousands of dollars from telephone and ISPs. Your private data will be bought and sold to marketing companies, law enforcement.
Let’s turn the tables. Let’s buy THEIR history and make it available.
If you can’t donate money, maybe you can donate time, your skill-set? I want to get help from any of you on a proper, transparent, and most importantly legal aspects of accepting donations for this purpose.”
“If it takes a million dollars to get real change, I am sure a million people are willing to donate $1 to help ensure their private data stays private,” wrote Adam McElhaney, who launched a GoFundMe campaign for the endeavor.
McElhaney clarified on the GoFundMe campaign’s site that while he understands the privacy risks of using social media, the privacy rules Congress just eliminated goes far beyond what he feels is acceptable.
This could be the best couple of bucks you have ever invested.