Republicans in Congress just voted to reverse a landmark FCC privacy rule that opens the door for ISPs to sell customer data. Lawmakers provided no credible reason for this being in the interest of Americans, except for vague platitudes about “consumer choice” and “free markets,” as if consumers at the mercy of their local internet monopoly are craving to have their web history quietly sold to marketers and any other third party willing to pay.
The only people who seem to want this are the people who are going to make lots of money from it. (Hint: they work for companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T.) Incidentally, these people and their companies routinely give lots of money to members of Congress.
So here is a list of the lawmakers who voted to betray you, and how much money they received from the telecom industry in their most recent election cycle.
Note on the data below: donations include contributions from corporations in the telecom industry and employees of those corporations (individual and non-individual contributions). The largest donors tend to be corporations which contributed funds to the candidate and / or the candidate’s leadership organization (PAC). All figures only reflect donations tallied for the candidate’s most recent election — many have received total sums much larger than the figure reflected over the course of their career in Congress. Figures are from federal election data compiled by the National Institute on Money in State Politics (www.followthemoney.org).
Additionally, it’s important to note that the communications industry is one of the largest lobbying groups in US history; internet providers and the telephone companies before them are notorious for spreading wealth across the aisle. Regardless, one party seems more responsive to the industry’s demands…………