“I guarantee you there is not one person, not one voter of any political stripe anywhere in America who asked for this. No one in America stood up at a town hall and said ‘Sir, I demand you let somebody else make money off my shameful desires. Maybe blackmail me one day.’”
he Verge published a great piece yesterday (“The 265 members of Congress who sold you out to ISPs, and how much it cost to buy them”) on the shameful passage—first by the Senate and then the House—of a resolution overturning a common-sense FCC rule (thank you, Obama!) that would, if it were to take effect this year, require Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to explicitly get your permission before sharing data about your browsing history, email content, geographical location, and other forms of sensitive communications. The Joint Resolution (S.J.34) passed the Senate 50-48, with no Democrats supporting it. In the House, it passed 215-205, with, you guessed it, no Democrats supporting it. Tr-mp has indicated he will sign it, since, obviously, he doesn’t have a damned thing to hide from anyone.
As Stephen Colbert said, one can’t imagine there was a public outcry for such a stupid and privacy-damning move by Congress. So, then, why did it happen, and happen so fast? From Verge:
The only people who seem to want this are the people who are going to make lots of money from it. (Hint: they work for companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T.) Incidentally, these people and their companies routinely give lots of money to members of Congress.
Routinely. Give. Lots. Of. Money. To. Congress.
Helpfully, The Verge published the amount of money the telecom industry gave to each of those who voted for the resolution. For those of us who live in Missouri, and particularly for those of us who live in southwest Missouri, we can see how much the locals got for selling out our privacy to our ISPs (the amounts are for the most recent election cycle for each member):
Senator Roy Blunt got $185,550. Yep—$185,550. To put that in perspective, only Mitch McConnell ($251,110) and John Thune ($215,000) got more than ol’ Roy.
Rep. Ozark Billy Long got a whopping $57,250. To put that in perspective, of the 215 Republicans who voted for the resolution, Long got more money than all but 16 of them, and some of those who got more than he got were part of House leadership. You can do a lot of eating and drinking and gambling with $57,250, something Long has a passion for, as opposed to, say, holding town halls in his district.
Here is Colbert’s take on it, even though, if you think about it, none of what is happening is really all that funny: