By: Paige Nielsen
With a new bill proposed in Congress, the government could have control of all your passwords and your browsing history. Find out how and why here.
With a new bill proposed in Congress, the government could have control of all your passwords and your browsing history. Already, every time you access the internet, both over Wi-Fi and data, the internet service providers (ISPs), such as AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon, store your user information including browsing history, passwords, and other personal data. Recently a bill was introduced into Congress that repeals restrictions placed on ISPs under the Obama administration, as well as allows ISPs to sell consumer information without asking for permission. This bill has subsequently passed both the Senate and the House of Congress last week and is awaiting President Trump’s signature before becoming a law.
The bill, formally known as Senate Joint Resolution 34, is surrounded by controversy. Supporters claim that the bill will decrease national security threats on the nation. Critics, on the other hand, argue that there is not explicit national security justification and that the bill could pose privacy violations. While the right to privacy is not explicitly stated in the Constitution, in previous Supreme Court cases, the right has been drawn from interpretations of the 4th, 5th, and 14th amendments.
Coach Hensarling, Upper School World History teacher, says, “I am not really in support of this bill because it seems to be all about the money. Since 9/11, we have had situations where our right to privacy has been violated in the name of national security, and sometimes I am okay with that, as long as it’s for a greater purpose. This bill, however, does not seem to have a purpose other than to make money, and I believe it could further weaken our security.” Furthermore, Coach Hensarling adds, “Some of those companies have had major security issues in the past, and because of that, I think it is difficult to trust them with this kind of information. Any kind of breach would be a gross violation of our privacy and could lead to other issues down the road.”
In light of this bill, it is difficult to know what to do. As Coach says, “You have to be smart and thoughtful about your internet use. Be cool, and stay safe, Turkeys.”