And so we arrive at April of 2017, apparently marking the end of our privacy on the Internet. Or so we’ve been led to believe. Well, another significant chunk of it has been eaten away anyway as the Republicans have passed a bill rolling back the regulation stopping internet service providers (ISPs) like AT&T and Verizon, from selling information about what we do online. But not really. Not just yet, anyway.
The PBS Newshour reports that the regulation stopping ISP’s from selling your browsing history wasn’t scheduled to take effect, “until December of 2017…..So the bill passed on Tuesday simply blocks those rules from taking effect.” Wired reporter, Kent Finley, told the Newshour, ““Mostly it means that internet service providers now have the go-ahead to sell data,” Finley explained. “It was already technically legal, but if any companies were holding off on doing it while they waited to see if the laws went into effect or not, they don’t have to wait anymore.”
Thank you, Donald.
It’s another really smart move, like letting coal companies dump sludge into the creek that flows into the river that ends up coming out of your kitchen faucet. With Trump, it’s one bad idea right after another, from letting his rich-kids daughter and son-in-law move in as two of his top advisers, to giving Mike Flynn and Paul Manafort access to the highest levels of government while he digs his own political grave because he can’t resist the urge to send out tweet after tweet digging the hole deeper and deeper. Dumb, dumb, dumb,dumb……..
Somebody hoisted the flag of common sense the other day when they remarked that it could be that “these guys just aren’t very smart.” How smart do you have to be when your father hands you a fortune for startup money and then hands you another when he dies?
While we wait for the inevitable implosion, there is something we can do to protect ourselves from our ISP’s spying on our every move (which they might be doing right now, although they say they aren’t).
I can’t speak to how well it works, but the Opera browser, has something called a “virtual private network” built into its functionality and it’s free. You need only to activate it after downloading and installing the browser. My only complaint about Opera, is that there is no home button, but that’s easily resolved by going to the home page you want and then dragging and dropping it into the bookmarks bar at the top of the page. I’m using it and it’s reassuring to see the little blue VPN box at the front of the address bar, indicating that I have at least done something to try and avoid letting someone sell my browsing history to God know who. There are also any number of companies offering to give you access to their virtual private networks for a fee. I use the AVIRA Antivirus, which offers their VPN for $6.50 a month on an annual plan. They also have a free version which allows only a limited amount of data.
Let me take a brief time out to once again thank Donald Trump, for all he has done and continues to do for all of us out here on Main Street, while, according to Donald Trump, Jr., the family can rest easy with its history of “money pouring in from Russia.”
Ivanka and Jared just released a financial disclosure form that shows their net worth to be around $700-million.
If the progressives have it right, we may not have to suffer through the missteps, lies and mental meanderings of Mr. Donald for an entire first term. “Occupy Democrats” are reporting out that generally reliable sources say (I know, I know…..it may be just wishful thinking) that Trumpty Dumpty is considering several options, and that resignation is among them. Oh sweet dreams. Please, let it be true. But then what?
Then we’ll be left with that Vampire Albino guy, Mike Pence, who can’t start his day without first going to Mass and refuses to eat dinner alone with any woman other than his wife, because he apparently can’t handle the temptations of sex. Really? Just for dinner?
I don’t care for extremists at either end of the spectrum, but what is it with these Republicans with regard to sex and religion? Why do so many of them appear to be stuck in emotional and intellectual purgatory? Good luck with your new VPN.
(I know today is April Fools Day, but all of the above is, to the best of my knowledge, true. Really.)