The browser history bill raises many questions
Yet despite the uncertainty that these (and other) unanswered questions invite, one thing is clear: most people adamantly oppose ISPs being able to sell their private browsing history. And it does not require an expert to explain the basis for that consensus. The things that people do under the expectation of privacy should not be secrets for another to sell.
ISPs can sell your secrets
This bill permits ISPs to sell your secrets--your private browser history that intuitively seems to be no one's property but your own. Is this what our legislators do when we stop standing up for what we believe?
The habit of standing up
The habit of standing up for what you believe is one of the greatest resources of mankind; and we are more likely to stand up when we have a clear strategy for winning.
This is how we will win--in three moves
Threats are not enough
The knee-jerk reaction from many people who oppose this bill has been to threaten to buy and publish the browser history of any representative who voted in favor of this bill. While we agree with this sentiment--"hell yea, why should those representatives, of all people, be insulated from this invasion of privacy?"--we do not believe this to be a viable strategy to either repeal the bill or protect the individuals who oppose it. Why?
The main reason is this: if the bill includes an opt-out provision, do you not think that each of those representatives would simply opt-out and therefore prevent their respective browser histories from being sold? Then, any money opponents of this bill might have contributed to one of the numerous campaigns promising to retaliate against the offending representatives in this way would have been misspent.
This is different than merely threatening to buy and publish a bunch of representatives's browser history.
Instead, we believe the clear strategy for winning against this bill is to first protect yourself and then to take an active political role by articulating your specific complaints to your representatives. Of course, later, if there is a swing-for-the-fence tactic that shows promise, then do what you can to support it. But putting yourself first here is the only smart play.
What this campaign promises?
We are fighting back. Your secrets should not be for sale, unless/until you decide to sell them. It should be your choice, not your ISP's and not your legislators'.
Start by opting out your browsing history.
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