People are concerned about their online privacy, and hence, they are protesting against the Republican Congress. In the U.S., Internet users are now raising funds to buy the browsing histories of lawmakers. They are protesting after the Republican Congress voted to block Internet privacy protections.
Why Internet users are against the bill?
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed S.J. Res. 34, enabling internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon to purchase users’ internet browser history without their consent. Since both the Senate and the House of Representatives voted to repeal rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission, which would have needed internet service providers to ask the person’s approval before selling private or sensitive information about them, at least four crowdfunding campaigns have been started.
Unhappy with the decision, activists have started raising money to purchase lawmakers’ web browsing histories to protest the repeal of broadband privacy rules. Until now, the two fundraising campaigns have raised more than $250,000 to buy and expose the web browsing histories. The campaigns have been gaining more and more support in the last couple of days, collecting a large amount of money from Internet users who want to keep their online history private.
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No one wants their online information to be exposed, which is the main reason Internet and privacy activists are against the bill. In addition, the activists fear that the removal of rules would allow broadband providers to sell private information about the apps people use, sites they visit or even their email and location details to the highest bidder, notes CNET.
All to protect online privacy
On Tuesday after the House vote, the popular actor Misha Collins, who stars in the American fantasy horror TV series Supernatural, started his GoFundMe campaign to raise over $500 million. Already, the actor, who plays an angel in the series, raised more than $71,000 from more than 3,000 people.
He also tweeted about his campaign saying, “Thanks, Congress, for voting to put all of our private data up for sale! We can’t wait to buy yours.”
Adam McElhaney, who calls himself a net neutrality advocate and privacy activist, also made a GoFundMe page and a website to raise funds to purchase the Internet histories of the legislators who supported the bill. McElhaney wants to make those lawmakers easily searchable to people and expose their web history to the public.
As of Thursday, the campaign led by McElhaney had raised almost $190,000, making it the most successful campaign yet.
On his campaign page, the privacy activist writes, “I plan on purchasing the Internet histories of all legislators, congressmen, executives, and their families and make them easily searchable at searchinternethistory.com.”
McElhaney is planning to raise over $1 million to purchase the web browsing histories of Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, FCC Chairman Ajit Pa and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
The bill is now on its way to President Donald Trump. People anticipate that the President will sign the bill into law.