by Scott Creighton
The “internet of everything” is big business. It’s big business, big opportunity and big control. It’s Big Brother. Today’s news exposes something awful. Not only are our congress-critters allowing for Big Business to turn everything you consider private into a commodity, but the fact is… THEY ALREADY DO IT.
Organizations like EFF are busy sending out mailers asking for donations so they can fight “the dismantling of broadband privacy” rules created back during the last moments of the Obama administration. Seems like a noble fight, doesn’t it? Accept, you never had those protections in the first place. Not during the Obama administration anyway.
The FCC’s rule titled “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunication Services,” 81 Fed. Reg. 87274 (PDF), was put in place after a long fight on Dec. 2nd, 2016. It was set to go into effect on Dec. 4, 2017… long after the Trumpster was elected and his corrupt gaggle of neoliberal destroyers he calls his “administration” had plenty of time to undo the rule. A year in fact.
“The FCC rules were put in place in 2016 to prevent consumers’ private and sensitive information automatically getting into the hands of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon…. That rule is scheduled to go into effect on December 4, 2017.” RT
That RT evaluation of the rule is a bit misleading. It prevented these companies from monitizing your very personal information, not from collecting it. And it only prevented them from selling your most personal information IF YOU TOLD THEM THEY COULDN’T.
They have been collecting it since the USA Freedom Act and CISA went into effect. This rule was ONLY set to make sure customers had a choice to opt-out of the monitization part, essentially keeping Big Telecom from turning more of a profit on the data (more meaning, they are already paid by the government to collect and store said information for the purposes of “national security”)
The data we are talking about is extremely private stuff. Check out this section of the announcement from the FCC about the changes. Keep in mind, it was never about them not collecting all this data.. it was only about forcing the Big Telecom companies to let their consumers know they were collecting and selling it and forcing them to get approval from you to do that. When you see how the FCC defines the kinds of personal information they are talking about you will understand that most sane human beings would never sign up for letting Comcast collect and sell it to anyone.
“For purposes of the sensitivity-based customer choice framework we adopt today, we find that sensitive customer PI includes financial information, health information, Social Security numbers, precise geo-location information, information pertaining to children, content of communications, web browsing history, application usage history, and the functional equivalents of web browsing history or application usage history. With respect to voice services, we also find that call detail information is sensitive information.” FCC 16-148 page 4
That’s everything. Everything about you. The content of your calls, emails, IMs, Tweets, DMs … the CONTENT of everything you write, say or think for the most part. Where you’ve been, what your kids do, THEIR PHOTOS, your Social Security number, your health status, the applications you use on your computer/cell phone, even the CONTENT of that (write a letter in Word to send snail mail? That’s swept up and sent to storage as well)
And in all likelihood, it’s not just your information produced by you yourself, but also stuff about you produced anywhere else. Businesses, doctor’s offices, your workplace… it’s EVERYTHING about you being hoovered up by these flakes, processed, analyzed, categorized and turned into a commodity.
Techcrunch accurately explains the ISPs were already collecting this stuff, but unfortunately they don’t provide a list of the things that can be collected (like I just did) while they suggest it’s only about your browsing history.
“The FCC rules, designed to protect consumers, required ISPs to seek consent from their customers in order to share their sensitive private data (it’s worth noting that ISPs can collect it, either way). For consumers, the rollback is a bad deal no matter how you slice it.” TechCrunch
Keep in mind, the USA Freedom Act not only allowed for the privatization of the surveillance state as well as the collection and storage of your most sensitive information but it also made provisions for Big Business to be allowed to take action against you if their algorithms determined you to be a risk to “national security”
“Under the regulation rollback, there are few limits on the ways ISPs will be allowed to interact with sensitive user data. That includes not just allowing providers to create marketing profiles based on the browsing history of their users, but also letting them deploy undetectable tools that track web traffic, too.” TechCrunch
We aren’t talking about cookies here. We are talking about scarlet letters branded upon your ISP address that could determine all sorts of interaction limitations as you navigate the world wide web in the future. Job applications, government websites, loan applications… there are all sorts of possibilities, aren’t there.
President Obama’s FCC resisted net neutrality and privacy protections throughout his presidency. This rule was only put in place at the end of his final term in office and was clearly intended to be undone either by Trump or Clinton.
On March 23, 2017, the Senate passed S.J. Res. 34. Considering how damaging this resolution is, it was incredibly short:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services” (81 Fed. Reg. 87274 (December 2, 2016)), and such rule shall have no force or effect.
The libertarian “liberty” guy, Little Entitled Randie, was a co-sponsor of the resolution. The resolution was passed with a simple majority by two votes. The voting broke down on a strictly partisan basis with all the Dems voting “nay’ and 50 Rethuglicans voting “yay” – 2 abstained.
This is not an arbitrary piece of legislation. The fake populist president has already said he will sign this resolution as soon as it comes to his desk. That will kick off a whole crap-load of start-up business money lending for companies that will be created to do nothing other than sift through your personal data like your wife goes through coupons every weekend before heading off to market.
It seems a lifetime ago that a few of us rang the alarm bell about the Snowden psyop being conducted in order to facilitate us “having the discussion’ and opening up data collection to Big Business. Can you remember back in the day when we thought 20 guys at the NSA having access to our information after a FISA court hearing was an invasion of our privacy?
Seems quaint now, doesn’t it? After “Snowden”, not only can literally THOUSANDS of corporate ladder climbers at Big Telecom see your info, but they can package it, sort it and sell it off like so many sub-prime mortgages to anyone who has the money to buy it. And once they buy it, those customers can do whatever they want with it.
They can do whatever they want with your Social Security number, the content of your phone calls and even the pictures of your children you have sitting unpublished on your desktop right now.
Hell, they can buy your intimate “just for fun” videos you made with your wife last weekend.
They can also purchase your inner most thoughts and ideas you have on any subject you can think of. They buy the data collected with those smart TVs and those ridiculous listening devices you PAY to have in your home. They can buy the private conversations you have in your bedroom at midnight with your life partner. They can buy everything and congress just made sure nothing is going to get in their way in the future to keep them from turning everything about you into a commodity.
This is the internet of everything and these ghouls are chomping at the bit to peel apart every aspect of you and your life to mine it for dollars like mergers and acquisitions vampires strip mine businesses for profit.
This is the payoff for the Snowden psyop. It’s total information awareness. Nothing that you say is private and in fact, nothing you say or write is yours. Talk about government working FOR business. This is a perfect example of that.
The statement from the FCC serves as proof that all of this information is indeed being harvested and collected en mass, on each and every one of us. William Binney warned us about this a decade ago. Others did as well but few listened. Fewer still wanted to believe but here we are.
That photo above taken from Twitter says it all. Back in the day we worried about such things. We feared it and rightly so. Now we are insipid children accepting every aggression from our government and Big Business as if they are our parents and we cannot even imagine they don’t have our best interests at heart.
Perhaps the first time you see a family photo of yours being used in a Superbowl ad and you get nothing for it, because by law it belongs to Google, you might get a little miffed. Perhaps when you find out that intimate video you made last week with wify is being sold in Thailand for $10 on the internet, you might get outraged.
You never think of these things in the abstract anymore. To scary for that. So you keep your head down and you think to yourself that it will never have an effect on you… until you’re denied a home loan because of something you wrote in private to your brother. Then you’ll get it. Then you’ll understand. But by then…
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. Martin Niemöller
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Filed under: Aaron Swartz, CISA, CISPA, Donald Trump, fascism in America, Globalization, Neoliberalizing America, Net Neutrality, NSA "Leak" Scandal, Scott Creighton, SOPA and PIPA, The Miracle of America, The Trumpening, USA Freedom Act |