Net neutrality was the ruling that Internet Service Providers could not sell customer’s private information to third parties. However, that ruling has been overturned, and your internet provider (such as Time Warner or Comcast) will now be able to sell your online information to third parties, for advertising and the such. Before the vote that overturned net neutrality, Cards Against Humanity creator Max Temkin took to Twitter to vow retribution against persons in Congress if net neutrality were to be abolished.
— Max Temkin (@MaxTemkin) March 27, 2017
Now that this anti-net neutrality bill has passed, Max intends to keep his vow if at all possible. At the moment, no one is sure how to obtain such information as Congress member’s browsing history. But if there is a way to obtain it, he says he will purchase and post the information out of his own pocket, and to be wary of any type of fundraising you see.
@MaxTemkin guys, there's not going to be a fucking Kickstarter. If and when the data is available, we'll buy it and publish it publicly.
— Max Temkin (@MaxTemkin) March 28, 2017
The Cards Against Humanity creator later gave an update via Reddit. In the statement, he re-iterates that we don’t know what’s really happening at this point, but that if there is any way to purchase the 265 Congress members’ and congressional aides information, it will not be done via any crowdsourcing:
First off – this bill hasn’t been signed, the data doesn’t exist, and nobody knows what they’re talking about. We don’t know if there will be any data to buy, how it will work, or what will be available. This means you should be very skeptical of any GoFundMe projects to buy this data. They are making promises they can’t possibly keep.
Max also seems to show some dismay at people seeing what he is doing as nothing more than a laugh, stating:
The amount of attention this is getting is honestly starting to scare me. I know that voting this up is funny, and easy, and feels good. But even if we get this data, it’s a symbolic victory at best. Our basic human rights, like the right to privacy, are being sold to the highest bidder while the best minds of our generation are here on Reddit asking pro gamers if they want to fight a horse-sized duck or whatever. Real, material change requires sacrifice. You probably can’t do it on a computer.
Whether he will succeed in obtaining the information remains to be seen, but the fact that someone could buy and post an individual’s electronic history is alarming in itself.
If you’d like to know how much your privacy was worth, check out this list by The Verge.
Where does one’s right to privacy end? That, it seems, is the question of the day. Are the things we look at online private, or is it knowledge others have a right to sell? Let us know what you think in the comments!