Apr. 5th, 2017

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Originally published on 4-1-2017 (according to the original DW date/time stamp - but given the update date, there might be mismatch between my time and theirs, somewhere in the system).

ETA, 4-5-17: grrr, this was supposed to be a public post from minute 1, but leave it to me to forget to unlock it until someone pointed out (five days later) that the post I was linking them to (this one) was not available. And yes, I've posted a DW Suggestion about changing the way we unlock posts when our journals are set to private or access-list only, like mine is, to prevent exactly this problem from occurring, but it got shot down last week, so we'll have to continue to depend on me to not be forgetful. Good luck!

They want to gut net neutrality now, too. As anyone who's hung around this blog might recall, I'm as touchy about net neutrality as I am about AOL's fraudulent business practices and bad customer service. In other words, I think I've found my cause, folks. Welcome to 2017!

While I could say something on what I plan to do, before we jump in, may I direct your attention to Adam McElhaney, who as of this heartbeat has raised $184,039 of his measly $10k goal (the amount has literally gone up almost $60k since I last checked a few hours ago, and goes up by many hundreds every time I hit Ctrl + R) to buy the internet histories of all the cute little Congress critters who voted to let the ISPs sell our internet histories.

You know. These people...

They betrayed you - FFTF's mock-up billboard showing names of House reps who voted against your online privacy

Their histories? We're buying them. We're using their existence to donate a lot of money to good causes! Take that, corporate sell-outs. hi-ya *does a few Chuck Norris kicks*

If the new law means what I think it means (and yeah, it pretty much does) then our non-anonymized data will be sold without our permission, knowledge or consent with our names, addresses, telephone and even Social Security numbers slapped right across it to whomever wants to publish it wherever they feel like publishing things - like in huge ads slapped across our friend's Facebook pages and data dumps about our browsing habits bought by our bosses, "friends", co-workers, families and neighbors for perhaps just pennies on the dollar.

Update, 3-31-17: so it doesn't exactly mean what I thought.

Anything not crossed out above is still true, but actually (and I have to thank [personal profile] andrewducker for posting a link on his DW, or else I might've never known!) the data still has to be anonymized before being sold to the highest bidders. So there's that.

These are some trying times for everyday people.

You can sort of laughingly say we never had any privacy to begin with because of the NSA and the CIA and overseas spying outfits and hackers and Facebook and data farmers and Russia and a so-called family tree site that knows everything about you whether you ever told it these things or not, which scares the crap out of some people (but yes, the opt-out does work).

But ISPs actually spreading our data around as casually as farmers spread manure is sort of another matter, and has worse implications. Upon hearing this, the other person I spend time with suggested they shouldn't be selling our data to others - we should be selling it to them because we pay them to access it in the first place. Which, yeah. But the point is, we pay them.

We pay them to access the fiber, cable and lines they provide us with to go online. We owe them nothing beyond the dollar bills we shove in their small, greedy hands each month in exchange for those services.

In return for allowing them the otherwise unstoppable access they have to our data, we don't willingly give them the right to actually look at it. We also don't give them the right to sell it to others to make even more money than they already get each and every damn time we pay them to go online out of our wallets. We certainly don't give them the right to do so in a way that shreds our privacy and any scrap of mystery we try to keep for ourselves.

Now they not only want to profit off of us at least twice - first by charging for access, then by selling the very data we unfortunately have no choice but to share with them just by using the internet, but now they're trying to turn the internet into a series of pay lanes you have to pull your wallet out for over and over again each time you want to visit a website.

So instead of just going to websites, now you have to sign up for a "package" with maybe 3-5 websites - say the AOL, MSNBC, New York Times (and Jesus, even I can't stand The New York Times), Facebook, and Twitter websites. These are your online "channels" in the new "package" you have to buy each month or as part of a long-term contract. To access even one more website, you'll need to have them "unlocked"...most likely on a very expensive, per-website basis. "So I'll have to pay to have each website I want to visit unlocked, beyond the 3-5 websites in my package"? Yep, that's it! Exactly!

This marks the peak of a very big and messy wet dream for ISP CEOs, stock traders and corporate bean counters alike. It's also the end of any of us freely surfing the web. That option will no longer exist - that's what ending net neutrality means. And Facebook is behind the effort to paywall the web 100%, because they want to be the top, headline item in every tiny little package on offer.

No one who gets what's going on with the effort to end net neutrality wants it to - no one, that is, except corrupt Congress critters and Ayn Rand basket cases, but getting people to see why and getting them familiar enough with the territory to explain it to others in a way that "clicks" remains one of the challenges, and that's the one I intend to spend time working on.

marahmarie: How to Even, for Dummies (how to even)

I could make a bad "In Russia, TOS reads you" joke but OK, the heck with it. Just a heads-up.

ETA, minutes later: just had to change the headline from "new TOS only available in Russian" to "valid TOS only available in Russian" because actually, that's what the new TOS says. ETA2: added screncap.

Screencap of LiveJournal TOS not valid in English warning on English TOS page, 4-5-17

So they have a new TOS written in English with no known Russian translation, which is not, according to them, "legally binding". The "valid" (old) version is now suddenly only available in Russian.

I'm not sure which law they're claiming makes what TOS valid or why but Russian "law" sure seems rather "interesting".