thanks, Don: selling out internet privacy edition

This week, Rep. Don Young voted with his party to remove protections for internet privacy. You can see the details of the specific bill at

What Don voted to do to us
There are lots of articles out there describing what happened to internet privacy this week. Long story short? This action codified the assumption that your internet use history belongs to your internet company, not you. 

Here’s a pretty good explanatory opinion piece from Tom Wheeler at the New York Times, “How the Republicans Sold Your Privacy to Internet Providers”:

The bill not only gives cable companies and wireless providers free rein to do what they like with your browsing history, shopping habits, your location and other information gleaned from your online activity, but it would also prevent the Federal Communications Commission from ever again establishing similar consumer privacy protections.

… Here’s one perverse result of this action. When you make a voice call on your smartphone, the information is protected: Your phone company can’t sell the fact that you are calling car dealerships to others who want to sell you a car. But if the same device and the same network are used to contact car dealers through the internet, that information — the same information, in fact — can be captured and sold by the network. To add insult to injury, you pay the network a monthly fee for the privilege of having your information sold to the highest bidder. [Emphasis mine. – Mary]

Thanks, Don! I definitely had too much privacy and security on the internet!

Note: Wondering whether you have a right to privacy? Check out the discussion of Article 22 of our State Constitution at Alaska’s Constitution: A Citizen’s Guide (note: this link takes you directly to a PDF), published by the Alaska Legislative Affairs Agency.

– Mary

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