Repealed laws regulate privacy

By Emily Amparan/ Assistant News Editor

By Emily Amparan
Assistant News Editor

At the end of March, the United States Congress has taken action to repeal internet privacy laws that were to be put in place at the end of President Obama’s term in office.

Repealing these laws, which would have required all internet companies like Google and Facebook to receive permission and notify users before using their information, has made the public more exposed than ever.

The unprecedented bullshit surrounding these newly revoked regulations should be enough to anger anyone.

These companies should in no way be given unlimited access to information of American citizens to do whatever the hell they want with it. And the issue does not stop at these companies having access to anyone’s browser history. Any Internet Service Provider can also redirect searches without warning, implant undeletable cookies and even pre-install software onto devices all while remaining completely undetectable to the user.

National Public Radio’s reporter Alina Selyukh interviewed Jules Polonetsky, CEO of the Future of Privacy Forum, who supports responsible internet information collection. According to Polonetsky, there are plenty of ways for internet users to protect their privacy even with the repealing of the regulations, including using Virtual Private Networks and adjusting the settings of one’s internet browsers to ‘do-not-track’.

Even with these precautions, however, advertising companies can obtain the information they need to adjust to their clients properly, and while internet users can switch to VPNs for all their web needs by using an encryption to block companies from locating search information (a sort of condom for the internet), Electronic Frontier Foundation reporter Gennie Gebhart said that this is still not a secure option.

“It’s just shifting trust to a new corporation. If ownership changes, they could start selling information just as easily,” Gebhart said.

EFF was, and still is, working hard to provide internet privacy and privileges all around the globe. Their team and Gebhart are advocating for a new bill to be presented that will bring these regulations back in order to deliver the safety surrounding their internet usage that citizens deserve.

EFF are not the only ones concerned with the new lack of privacy.

“They’ve already taken a lot of privacy. Why would they need more info?” said Ashwag Shidawa, a CSU Bakersfield student and child development major.

Shidawa’s friends Deena Khalid, a human biology major, and Nashwa Rafiq, a liberal studies major, said that the lack of laws ensuring their personal privacy makes them wary of using the internet.

But merely complaining about the issue won’t fix it, which is why organizations like EFF are suggesting that everyone contact his or her local legislator to voice concerns.

Congress has stolen away our basic rights to privacy on our most used platforms of life.

Citizens did not ask for this invasion of daily life and the exposure of their personal searches to be turned into a hand crafted selling device, it was merely something Congress decided for us.

One in which they hid their shitty agenda under the hype of Universal Health Care being thrown out the window.

Privacy should not be an add-on service but a natural human right to be protected by this country.

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