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Buh-Bye Broadband Privacy Rules

By   WirelessPhreak      Saturday, April 01, 2017      Labels: ,  

So the congress and senate decided to look out for its constituents and protect the privacy of the people who put them in office.  In the immortal words of Borat, "NOT"! The repealing of the FCC's Broadband Privacy Rules only benefits the internet providers. It actually provides a substantial revenue stream for big business, Comcast, Time Warner, ATT, .etc. that did not exist before. One of the analogies used to justify the vote was, "it evens the playing field", what they meant was because the Googles, Yahoos, and Facebooks, can use your information to deliver targeted ads why can't we (the ISPs) do it?

Well let's start with the reality.  Today Google does deliver targeted ads from information they gather through browsing history, email, etc. For most this is a trade off for service. Google can provide the most popular free email client and web browser in the world because of the advertising they sell. When you sign up for Google or Yahoo, you are the product.  That is a well understood concept, and most people are willing to trade their information for free services. This is where the level playing filled analogy breaks down. ISPs such as Comcast or Time Warner charge for their services, and in most cases a lot. Its true they have been monitoring your traffic, just ask anyone who has received a cease and desist letter after a torrent download. Now they can act on that information, they can start injecting adds into your web browsing, selling your non identifiable browsing data, and collecting everything you do online.

So what impact does that have ultimately on the users? In the short term for the average user maybe not a lot, but these are different times. We should trust our ISP to be responsible for our privacy, but with the collection of this data it makes them a rich target not only for hackers, but the government. Think about a world where the government in conjunction with the internet providers have identified every person using the internet. With their browsing data is able to conclude their illnesses, banking information, relatives, sexuality, hobbies - I challenge you to think about your life and what if any part you have never searched on the internet or uploaded to social media.

That is an extreme example, I hope, but very plausible. Our privacy and freedom of speech is a cornerstone of America and to just give it up to benefit- lets face it- horrible companies make more money seems like a stupid thing to do.

Check out these links if your interested:
EFF Electronic Frontier Foundation
ACLU American Civil Liberties Union
Bruce Schneier Schneier.com

Please check out the EFF's Surveillance Self-Defenense site.  It has a ton of tools and information to help you understand and what to do about your online privacy.  Of course it was original put together to aide individuals in repressive regimes, but maybe thats where we are at.

If your a techy and do it your self kind of person, here is a link to Open VPN's AWS guide to deploying your own VPN server in AWS.  If you want to give it a try AWS will give you  free year and OpenVPN includes a free 3 device license with their OpnVPPN Access Server. It was really easy to set up and it will work with PC, Mac, IOS, and Android.
Open VPN Access Server on AWS

About WirelessPhreak

Just your everyday Packet Wrangler who enjoy's traveling and anything techie...