Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Your Internet Provider might sell your browser history

Your ISP will be able to sell your Internet history:
The US House of Representatives has just approved a "congressional disapproval" vote of privacy rules, which gives your ISP the right to sell your internet history to the highest bidder. 
The measure passed by 215 votes to 205
This follows the same vote in the Senate last week. Just prior to the vote, a White House spokesman said the president supported the bill, meaning that the decision will soon become law.
This is all about "Net Neutrality", and whether ISPs are treated like telephone companies.  The article does a good job of explaining the background.  TL;DR: things are a mess and you need to take responsibility for protecting your own privacy.

Which you had to anyway.

The good news is that anything that is encrypted can't be read by your ISP, so they can't sell it.  More and more traffic is encrypted.  Make sure that your email is (most people use a web browser to get email, so you can check for the lock button in the URL bar).

DuckDuckGo is my search engine of choice, because they don't track your search history.  All traffic to them is encrypted, so that protects you from your ISP.

Probably you don't need to worry about your ISP collecting data on your social media use (Facebook, Twitter, etc) because the social media companies already do this.  You don't have any privacy here, so you're not likely to be worse off if your ISP starts recording this.  The social media sites may encrypt everything anyway, because they don't want to share your data with other sharks.

This blog is encrypted (check the URL bar and you will see the padlock icon).  That doesn't help because Google owns Blogger, and so Google is recording everything.  Sorry.

UPDATE: Here are some suggestions about what you can do.


matism said...

My internet provider (AT&T) already lets the FedPigs sit astride my connection and listen to everything I do. I have VOIP for my home phone. You know the hookswitch sound? How do you hear that on a VOIP line when nobody in your home has picked up a phone, and the called party has not yet answered?

Weetabix said...

I've been using ixquick as a search engine. Is it as secure as DuckDuckGo? I prefer the look, but I'd duck if it's more secure.

Weetabix said...

On the last "prove you're not a robot" it asked for street signs. I think I interpreted too broadly. I chose squares with regulatory signs, warning signs, and object markers.

Perils of a former user of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control devices, I suppose. :-)

Old NFO said...

Yep, ANY connection is already being recorded... sigh