[Note: This item comes from friend David Rosenthal. DLH]
Your internet service provider shouldn’t be allowed to spy on you, but they can (and will)
By Dane Jasper
Mar 27 2017
Dane Jasper is cofounder and CEO of Sonic, the largest independent internet service provider in Northern California.
Last week Senate Republicans voted to abolish vital internet privacy rules created by the Federal Communications Commission. Lobbyists for big telecom companies want these rules abolished, but Sonic disagrees, and we urge the House of Representatives to reconsider this attack on Americans’ privacy.
Consumers deserve their privacy when they use the Internet. Internet access is an essential part our lives today. The vibrant and dynamic ecosystem of amazing applications, tools, people and content has driven the growth of the internet, which in turn has transformed every aspect of society — from business, government and education to our privates lives. And it’s precisely the openness of the internet that has fueled this prosperity; its integrity is now being put into question.
When carriers threaten to monitor their subscriber’s use of the internet, it puts a trusted relationship with the public at risk. If your telephone company was advocating for the right to automatically monitor your audio telephone calls and sell what they hear, would this make you comfortable about using your phone? Of course not; it is a ridiculous concept. For carriers to advocate for the ability to monitor your use of the internet is, frankly, just as creepy.
The way people use the internet and the things they use it for is intimate and private — and it should remain that way. Whether it’s shopping, dating, seeking a job, emailing your lawyer or browsing a support forum, what you do on the internet is your own private business and should not be sold for profit by large corporations.
Our country’s founders recognized the importance of privacy, codifying in the fourth amendment the “…right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects…” While this is in regards to government access, the point is the same for personal privacy — should an oligopoly carrier that you have no choice but to use have the right to follow your every virtual step?
And while we’re on the subject, we should be talking about another related concern: the oligopoly that hinders competition. Most American consumers have only one or two carriers to choose from that can deliver reasonable speed internet access.