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Well that backfired – privacy advocate threatens to buy lawmakers browsing history

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Following the US government’s decision to reverse ISP privacy laws, a data privacy and net neutrality advocate has set up a GoFundMe page with the intention of buying lawmakers’ browsing history.

Just as legislators, congressmen and executives are giving themselves a pat on the back, Adam McElhaney has kicked of a funding campaign which will aim to raise enough money to dish out a strong case of irony. The initial target for the campaign was $10,000, however at the time of writing, McElhaney has raised an astronomical $148,147.

“I plan on purchasing the Internet histories of all legislators, congressmen, executives, and their families and make them easily searchable at searchinternethistory.com,” McElhaney states on the page.

“Everything from their medical, pornographic, to their financial and infidelity. Anything they have looked at, searched for, or visited on the Internet will now be available for everyone to comb through.”

While it certainly is an amusing twist to the saga, it has also highlighted there are a number of sympathizers in the US. The move to reverse Tom Wheeler’s consumer privacy stance was always going to be a controversial one, but there would appear to be some gathering momentum behind the prank.

“Message me on Facebook or Twitter (@millennialprof). I have a team of lawyers and writers ready to help,” said Tracy Norton.

“I see that there are a couple of other sites and efforts such as this – I hope you will consider joining forces. Thanks for your creative action,” said Jennifer Lurani Evans.

“Sen Jeff Flake was the sponsor of the bill, IMHO, he should be first. Then the higher profile the better, and I’d include trump, bannon, etc… in that list,” said Bill Bayer.

And while this is the one which has caught our attention, it isn’t the only act of defiance. Max Temkin, creator of Cards Against Humanity has offered to purchase the browsing history as soon as it becomes legally available.

Although this campaign does highlight the fact that there are numerous people unhappy with the actions of the US government, it should be worth noting the ISPs are under no obligation to sell a specific individuals data to another party.

Whether the campaigns objectives are actually achievable remains to be seen, it certainly has highlighted to opposition to government actions in recent weeks.


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