Pretty odd conundrum in the news this week. Congress went ahead and voted for something nobody wanted except the telecom industry – being able to sell your personal internet/phone browsing information.
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.
This is literally something nobody would want and the best attack is the activist who is trying to buy the personal information for members of Congress to make it public.
Pretty outrageous. And I couldn’t help connecting this to the debate about the NSA’s monitoring of domestic communications in their vast trawling net of information. Even in that debate there was an argument that if you aren’t on the phone talking to Al Qaeda operatives then what do you have to fear? But by popular demand that program was ended in 2015!
But the other story that this just intellectually conflicts with is the announcement that the GOP and the Trump administration has already stuck their fingers in the 2020 census and decided to leave out any check box for LGBTQ status. They do that for the same reason they forbid funding studies on gun violence, or climate change. If there’s no information, they can say anything. If LGBTQ are not counted in the census, do they exist?
“Information from these surveys helps the government to enforce federal laws like the Violence Against Women Act and the Fair Housing Act and to determine how to allocate resources like housing supports and food stamps,” Maury said in a statement. “If the government doesn’t know how many LGBTQ people live in a community, how can it do its job to ensure we’re getting fair and adequate access to the rights, protections and services we need?”
Add that to the historical under count of black and brown people in inner cities, both for financial reasons and for reasons of compromising voting rights and we once again see how it’s never, ever okay to leave Republicans in charge. Here we were thinking we learned the lessons of 2010 and we’ll be prepared for 2020, but you have to have control of the Census Bureau years prior to the census to determine what and who will be counted.
The GOP proves their values to be counter to that of thinking people on almost every issue. No, our private information should not be sold to the public and yes, we should know exactly who we are and where, so we can determine what people need. GOP thinking is it only matters what business wants and since government is the enemy they shouldn’t know anything.