Adam Isacson

Still trying to understand Latin America, my own country, and why so few consequences are intended. These views are not necessarily my employer’s.

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Internet privacy just lost big. Start using a VPN.

The legislation I was warning about last night passed today. The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports:

Make no mistake, by a vote of 215 to 205 a slim majority of the House of Representatives have decided to give our personal information to an already highly profitable cable and telephone industry so that they can increase their profits with our data. The vote broke along party lines, with Republicans voting yes, although 15 Republicans broke ranks to vote against the repeal with the Democrats.

Should President Donald Trump sign S.J. Res. 34 into law, big Internet providers will be given new powers to harvest your personal information in extraordinarily creepy ways. They will watch your every action online and create highly personalized and sensitive profiles for the highest bidder. All without your consent. This breaks with the decades long legal tradition that your communications provider is never allowed to monetize your personal information without asking for your permission first. This will harm our cybersecurity as these companies become giant repositories of personal data. It won’t be long before the government begins demanding access to the treasure trove of private information Internet providers will collect and store.

My sincere advice is to get used to using a Virtual Private Network to mask that information. I’ve been using Private Internet Access for a year now, and it can be a pain sometimes—occasional slowness or stopped connections—but most of the time I don’t even notice it’s there. For more, see:

U.S. citizens, make this call ASAP

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

We are one vote away from a world where your ISP can track your every move online and sell that information to the highest bidder. Call your lawmakers now and tell them to protect federal online privacy rules.

…The Senate voted last week 50-48 on a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to repeal the FCC’s privacy rules. Now the resolution heads over the House, where it’s scheduled to get a vote on Tuesday.

This bill is headed to the floor tomorrow, after House Republicans sent it through the Rules Committee on a party-line vote this evening.

EFF has a handy phone call-generating tool to put you directly in touch with your congressional office. Just read the brief script to the intern who answers the phone. Do it first thing in the morning.

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