Internet users raise funds to buy lawmakers' browsing histories in protest

Internet users are fighting back after Congress voted to block Obama-era internet privacy protections.

Two fundraising campaigns have so far raised more than $215,000 to purchase and reveal lawmakers' browsing histories.

ADVERTISEMENT
Actor Misha Collins, the star of television show “Supernatural,” has raised more than $63,000 on his GoFundMe page. More than 3,000 people have donated to the page, which has a goal of $500 million.

“Great news! The House just voted to pass SJR34. We will finally be able to buy the browser history of all the Congresspeople who voted to sell our data and privacy without our consent!” he wrote on the fundraising page.

Another activist from Tennessee has raised more than $152,000 from more than 9,800 people.

A bill on its way to President Trump’s desk would allow internet service providers (ISPs) to sell users’ data and Web browsing history. It has not taken effect, which means there is no growing history data yet to purchase.

A Washington Post reporter also wrote it would be possible to buy the data “in theory, but probably not in reality.”

A former enforcement bureau chief at the Federal Communications Commission told the newspaper that most internet service providers would cover up this information, under their privacy policies. If they did sell any individual's personal data in violation of those policies, a state attorney general could take the ISPs to court.