What's good for the goose is good for the gander

As you are probably aware, your internet privacy is about to be destroyed in the name of a quick buck.

The US House of Representatives has just approved a "congressional disapproval" vote of privacy rules, which gives your ISP the right to sell your internet history to the highest bidder.
The measure passed by 215 votes to 205.
This follows the same vote in the Senate last week. Just prior to the vote, a White House spokesman said the president supported the bill, meaning that the decision will soon become law.
This approval means that whoever you pay to provide you with internet access – Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, etc – will be able to sell everything they know about your use of the internet to third parties without requiring your approval and without even informing you.
Your ISP already knows quite a lot about you: your name and address, quite possibly your age, and a host of other personally identifiable information such as your social security number. That's on the customer information side. On the service side, they know which websites you visit, when, and how often.

It's going to be very hard keeping even a small semblance of online privacy.

Congress sold your privacy for very little.

In the Senate, John Thune (R-South Dakota) received the most money from the telecommunications industry, with over $215,000 in donations from industry PACs and employees. Senator John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) sold out for the least, voting to kill internet privacy rules for just $1,000 in donations. It’s also important to note that Sen. Luther Strange (R-Alabama) received $0 in campaign donations, as he was recently appointed by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley to replace Sen. Jeff Sessions after he was appointed Trump’s Attorney General.

In the House, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Oregon) is the favorite of the telecom industry, with over $155,000 in donations in the most recent election cycle. Rep. Clay Higgins (R-Louisiana) sold out to the industry for a paltry $300.

That why I was so amused when I ran across this.

Help me raise money to buy the histories of those who took away your right to privacy 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.

It's a brilliant idea. Only by violating the privacy of congresspersons will they understand and respect what they are doing to the rest of us.
gofundme.png

Don't like that one. Here's another site.
buydata.png

Other gofund sites are being created.

The website searchinternethistory.com is attempting to raise $1 million in order to put in bids to purchase the internet history of leading Republicans and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) members. The first histories the site aims to buy are those of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

Max Temkin, Cards against humanity creator, has offered to use his wealth to buy it.

As for keeping some privacy, there is really only one way left now - TOR.
If you care about your privacy, it's time to start using it.

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karl pearson's picture

Since posting this diary a short while ago, the campaign has collected another $4000 and is now at $128,120. The donation website has some interesting comments, too.

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Wink's picture

30% off the top. Yes, you can have everything I own, but not for Free. Your cost is 30%. Off the top. Hope you don't get bored.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

snoopydawg's picture

And a few ad blocking apps on my iPad. I haven't found a no tracker yet for my iPad but I'll keep looking for one.
I am seeing more websites telling me to turn them off.
A few have just put a message up telling me that their websites need the revenue from the ads but I can close the window and still read the articles.
But many times some sites won't allow me to read them until I stop my ad blocking software. The Wall Street journal is one. So how long until every site won't let you read the articles if one is using this software or apps?
The huffington post makes a ton of money and it's one of the sites that say they rely on the ad revenue to stay in business. Horse poop.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@snoopydawg
But they won't do anything to keep your ISP from collecting your web traffic and selling it.

Only the Tor browser does that.

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mimi's picture

@gjohnsit
because it seems when I browsed for example for a "Butenas Gartenhaus" that I get within minutes their ads all over here, when I access the EB site. I mean I don't expect anything else anymore, but the speed with which my browsing history gets collected and played back at me on other websites I use, is mind boggling. My laptop has been compromised lately, so I am going to do the linux and Tor route in the future, when I can manage it. Haven't done something like it since the late nineties...

Thanks for the link to Tor. Do you have the link for the version of Linux to use? Do you recommend it?

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@mimi
As for pop-up ads, check what programs are installed on your computer. Then check the add-ons for your browser.

I use Linux Mint. It works fine for me.

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SnappleBC's picture

@gjohnsit But unless I'm missing something, A VPN will also do secure your internet history although DNS leakage is always a thing.

Of course, I have to assume that the NSA is going to be big customer of this data since there was just another law passed which set up that sort of public/private partnership. What I personally love is the notion that it's OK to collect data so long as the NSA isn't the one doing the first step of the collection. It's an argument only a corrupt judge could love.

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A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

@snoopydawg

I do the same, and that's good to keep Google, Facebook, and advertisers away from your data. But your ISP actually is the one routing your requests--they see everything!

TOR is one option. Encrypting what you can is another. Using a VPN would hide a lot. Going to sites that use https:// instead of http:// will hide the details of what you are doing on the site--but not that you visited the site.

This is really bad. Hell, it's almost like advertisers won't even need to use their own tracking systems anymore--the things that AdBlock and Ghostery stop. They can now just buy that information from the ISP!!!

Google and Facebook are probably peeved. Their tracking services will now be subpar!

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@apenultimate
but it won't hide the sites you visit.
Plus, if you use a search engine other than Duckduckgo, they have what you are looking for too.

Only Tor or a VPN will anonymize you, and the VPN you have to pay for.

I'm using Tor right now.

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snoopydawg's picture

@gjohnsit
I downloaded Tor on my iPad and will see if I can get it to work. I couldn't sign in for this site. I put my log in information in the box for it but when I hit the sign in button nothing happens.

So instead of using Google I should use DuckDuckGo and it doesn't track me like Google does?
I finally signed up for a Facebook account to try to sell my photos and an old friend that I haven't had contact with for over a decade came up on the 'people I might be friends with ' showed up as well as my jr high school coach who I used to be friends with but I haven't had contact with for over 2 decades except for when she came to my mom's funeral.
I thought both of them were weird to show up in that spot. I have the first friend in my contacts list but not the second one, so how would it know about them?

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

GreatLakeSailor's picture

@gjohnsit
https://www.ixquick.com

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Compensated Spokes Model for Big Poor & Big Peace.

I'm logged in over Tor Browser. On my older mac (osx10.6 or so) it took less than 5 min all told. And that was with reading some of the fine print etc.

Good to see that there is an Android Tor as well. That seems more of a priority since I log in with my phone more when I'm out and about.

As an aside: Fuck off Comcast. Seriously. Go to hell.

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@peachcreek I went over to Joe's page and automatically tried to load the first video.
On Tor, Frank Frost's Blues: "This video is not available".
Switch back over to Chrome and it loads fine.
Any work around or config that I should know?

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@peachcreek
Meaning that it has security features. For instance, javascript is automatically turned off.
The security is necessary for anonymity, but it can hinder how a web page works. The random IP's can also trigger false alarms on some more advanced web sites.

IOW, Tor can cause you headaches on a minority of web sites that you log into.
There's no real getting around it.
It's one reason why I always have more than one browser that I use.

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And then join them all up together to make our own, free internet. F**k the ISPs.

Mesh Networks Wikipedia

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Beware the bullshit factories.

Lookout's picture

In other words your ISP has been collecting and selling your info for a long while. This new reg was designed to stop that process. Basically they killed the reg before it was practiced.

I love the idea of buying the congress critters browsing history!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

CS in AZ's picture

@Lookout

Doesn't mean they will sell it. I expect anyone trying to buy the internet history of congress critters will find it a bit more difficult to obtain than they seem to think.

Thanks for the info on what this vote was actually about. I have to admit I wasn't particularly alarmed, because I think the term internet privacy is already an oxymoron, and I knew that ISPs were monitoring and tracking browsing history. And that they can turn it over to police for free if they want to. This is not new. I think people raising money over this look a bit opportunistic. Yes I'm cynical.

As for ISPs selling this info. I'm not sure who would pay to know my reading interests or why. To try to sell me things? Good luck with that. Avoiding all advertising has been one of my personal hobbies forever. Just one of the many reasons I love c99% - no ads!

Thank you for that, JtC. Smile I hope everyone who can will toss some donations his way to help keep this lovely ad-free space going.

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SnappleBC's picture

@CS in AZ Out of the tiny little slices of our life, big data puts together a composite picture that is incredibly detailed and accurate. Once that capability exists, then it is available to everyone including government actors.

If all google et.al. were doing was trying to peddle ads to me more effectively I could live with that. I seldom see an ad anywhere but in the physical world. I'm actually amazed at how freeing it is to be out from under the constant influence of modern day mind control?

But I still don't want to make it any easier than I need to for the NSA, CIA, or FBI to be able to purchase that information. Nor do I want employers to discriminate against me because of arbitrary social attributes like my sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or political ideology.

Sure, the best answer is to simply not participate in the information age but... yanno... that's also how people like us find each other here on C99.

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A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

CS in AZ's picture

@SnappleBC

Nothing has changed. Congress voted to not implement a new rule which hadn't even gone into effect yet.

Or read this article for a detailed explanation: https://www.techdirt.com/blog/?tag=ad+exchanges

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@Lookout
but it's been against the law for them to just sell it. Until now.

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CS in AZ's picture

@gjohnsit

Just reading an article that explains this in great detail. It clarifies:

In the wake of yesterday's unfortunate Congressional vote to kill broadband privacy protections (which had only just been put in place a few months ago, and hadn't yet taken effect) we've been seeing a lot of... bad ideas. People are rightfully angry and upset about this. The privacy protections were fairly simple, and would have been helpful in stopping truly egregious behavior by some dominant ISPs who have few competitors, and thus little reason to treat people right. But misleading and misinforming people isn't helpful either.

So, it means nothing changes. The rule that would have stopped ISPs from selling targeted ads won't happen.

Moreover, my instinct that these gofundme campaigns are a scam (or, generously, misguided and mistaken) was right.

But here's the real problem: you can't buy Congress' internet data. You can't buy my internet data. You can't buy your internet data. That's not how this works.
...
When ISPs or online services have your data and "sell" it, it doesn't mean that you can go to, say, AT&T and offer to buy "all of Louis Gohmert's browsing history." Instead, what happens is that these companies collect that data for themselves and then sell targeting.
...
Thanks to information tracking, it may throw up some demographic and interest data to the marketplace. So, it may say that it has a page being viewed by a male from Texas, who was recently visiting webpages about boardgames and cow farming (to randomly choose some items). Then, from that marketplace, some advertisers' computerized algorithms will more or less say "well, I'm selling boardgames about cows in Texas, and therefore, this person's attention is worth 1/10th of a penny more to me than some other company that's selling boardgames about moose." And then the webpage will display the ad about cow boardgames.

https://www.techdirt.com/blog/?tag=ad+exchanges

They've already been doing this. Nothing is new. No identifiable personal information, history, or data is being sold or will be sold. And no information on congress critters will be bought or published. People absolutely should not waste their money on these campaigns.

Congress voted to not change something that's been going on for a long time. Now, I'm not a fan of targeted ads on websites. I find them annoying and a bit creepy. But it's not new, and it's not the end of the world.

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regulated. So, those donations may have bought more goodwill than just violating privacy.

Someone--don't recall if a corporate officer or a corporate lobbyist--once noted that the biggest bang for any buck a business spends comes from money donated to our "public servants" aka corrupt politicians.

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k9disc's picture

"Wasting" time on your computer reading news will become a huge issue and will get a disease named after it.

I saw this tactic used at dKos over the last few years, and to a lesser degree other sites. It didn't work there because everyone was spending "too much time" onsite, but it did resonate with me as a tactic to shut down debate.

But keep in mind this was several years ago, and oh my! what a slippery slope we're on...

So people who are online too much and are effective anti-Establishment communicators will be picked apart by bots and the agitated masses because they're not working hard enough or contributing to society,"All you do is waste your time reading CT online!"

Being informed by non-sponsored sources (the ones who will let you anonymize) and speaking publicly about that will become a disease.

Everyone will go along with it too. Because corporate people and corporate messaging is reality and real people and corporeal reality are weird outliers.

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

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shaharazade's picture

more overhauls, hand lemon juicers, and 501 jeans stalking me? I used to have adblock but it went away while refreshing my browser and I'm too low tech to put it back. I did switch to DuckDuckGo but as gjohnsit pointed out they can now just get your history right from the horses mouth. I'm amazed at the snail junk mail I get as it seems the senders know all about my finances and my mortgage details. Big data rules in marketing. On the other hand the marketeers who buy this bulk information have a hard time deciphering what it's all about. Artificial Intelligence is an oxymoron.

The progressive grocery (New Seasons) store I shop at has an option when you use your debit card to get the reciets sent directly to your email. New Season's stalked me online for awhile with ads of what they know I buy from my debit card. It freaked me out so now I use cash as much as possible for daily living. What a world where corporations can make money off tracking your electronic information. Your mind, money spent and eyes are the only product they make an obscene profit off. They even have a way to track what your looking at on the markets shelves, eyeball info.

Seems Trump is the perfect vehicle for the getting rid of last vestiges of any regulation. It's really hard to believe unless you have amnesia or suffer from partisan disease that this whole election farce was not the result of complicity between the R's and D's. The Dems. are doing a heck of a job not obstructing the total dismantling of any regulation. Trump and Co. is the privatizing, global transnational's wet dream come true.

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