Technology

GOP lawmaker open to releasing his internet browsing history

Greg Nash

Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) says he’s willing to release his internet browsing history.

Cramer, who voted in favor of repealing an Obama-era rule that would have prevented service providers from selling customers’ information without their permission, told a North Dakota radio show that he’d be willing to release his own browsing history.

“Oh, of course. Yes, absolutely. No problem,” Cramer said in response to a question during an appearance on “The Jay Thomas Show.”

CNN reported on the exchange.

{mosads}Cramer did not clarify if he would be willing to release his data in a way that would make it identifiable to him, or if he would be willing to release it anonymously, akin to how many internet companies like Facebook and Google sell user data to advertisers. Cramer said that the information internet service providers would gain from consumers is  “not worth a lot of commercial value,” anyway.

Cramer’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Federal Communications Commission regulation would have forced internet service providers who wanted to sell consumer information like app usage data and web browsing history to first gain consumers’ permission.

Congress passed a measure revoking the regulation, and President Trump signed it into law.

Cramer also charged that George Soros had funded a misinformation campaign to benefit Democrats and internet companies.

“There’s a George Soros-funded campaign to make people believe that somehow we reversed some existing protocol and that we allowed all the internet service providers to sell your private information. Of course this rule was put in place to benefit George Soros’ buddies and Obama’s buddies at Google and Facebook, and the what are called the edge providers — the people that really have your browsing history and your sensitive information,” Cramer said.

Google actually advocated for the Republican and cable company position of rolling back the rules in a letter it sent to the FCC in 2016.

Google, like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast argued that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would be a better mechanism to regulate internet privacy.

Supporters of the FCC’s broadband privacy rules argue that the FTC does not have the regulatory teeth able to regulate internet service providers strongly enough.

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