This week, amidst a sea of other shocking and life-altering bills, political moves, executive orders, and scandals, both the House and Senate voted on and passed a law which granted Internet Service Providers the ability to buy and sell internet users’ browsing data to the highest bidder.

Now, your internet service provider (like Comcast and AT&T) have the wonderful ability to sell the data they collect on their users to whichever advertiser or corporation that hopes to obtain it for whatever purpose they want.

Of course, this ability was already available to private corporations like Google and Facebook who use your data – much of it far more intimate than what your ISP can gather – every single day. Still, Republicans in Congress voted to allow these corporations to profit off of their consumers, selling simple data to advertisers in order to make a quick buck.

The bill first passed the Senate in a vote of 50 to 48, along party lines. The President still has the ability to veto this legislation, and though I wish we could rely on President Trump to do so, his recent actions have me very skeptical.

Considering how much citizens pay for the privilege of having internet access (while being throttled for using Netflix), Republicans in Congress should have had no reason to hand over more of their constituents’ privacy for a payday.

Of course, as is often the case, the majority of those who voted in favor of this wholly unnecessary and invasive legislation did so because they themselves get paid by Internet service providers like Comcast and AT&T.

As noted by Private Internet Access, 

“The Senators that voted for this have been lobbied by the telecoms and ISPs. Those in support of this stripping of privacy rights have even filed with the FCC attempting to claim that web history and app data usage information is not sensitive information.”

All told, 265 Republican Representatives and Senators voted “yes” to hand ISP’s this new tool for privacy invasion. If you value your internet privacy and take deep offense to legislators signing away your rights for a quick donation, take note of who is on this list and make sure that they aren’t re-elected the next time they ask for your vote.

If they can’t vote for the American people, why in the world would we vote for them?

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Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com