EFF Call for sign-ons: ISPs, networking companies and engineers opposed to FCC privacy repeal

I'm mostly being speculatively facetious.

All I can say for sure is they do that NXDOMAIN thing unless you opt out, good for 1 year only, so remember to renew your opt out annually. But I just don't use their resolvers.


Now, if ISPs want to PURCHASE browser data from customers directly, I'm
sure they'll get some takers. But that strategy has never appeared in
any business plan I've seen.

AT&T offers gigabit Internet discount in exchange for your Web history | Ars Technica ?


That's a great find! I note in the article:

"Not only is the price of the premier service (with ads) only $70 a month, but it comes with a waiver of equipment, installation, and activation fees. The standard service without ads is $99 a month..."

So that's $29 a month to let AT&T track your Web browsing, but only for targeting ads. ATT promises "And we won’t sell your personal information to anyone, for any reason."

I would guess that the ability to sell that data would be worth several times the $29/month, so it's conceivable that a provider could offer $10/mo Gig Internet in exchange for browsing history.

But nobody does.

Because they think they can steal it.

I think this pretty well demonstrates the greed of the big-ISP executives who lobbied for today's legislative atrocity, which lets them rob customers of browsing history that even AT&T execs acknowledge users own.

-mel beckman

What about little ISPs? There are already monetization platforms out there that can be resold to small ISPs. The company sells the aggregate data upstream. Not that I would, but in a small ISP, that money makes a big difference.

What about bank robbery? Little ISPs could supplement their incomes using that immoral revenue stream too. The ends don't justify the means. Browsing history belongs to the user, not the ISP. Robbing users of this data is not justified just because it would give ISPs -- of any size -- a new revenue stream.

-mel beckman

Yeah, I think we're done here.


My guess is you do not.

Which is -precisely- why the users (proletariat?) need to find a way to stop you. Hence laws & regulations.

Later in this thread you said “we are done here”. Would that you were so lucky.

It was more a plea to educate the list on why this matters vs. doom and gloom with a little more gloom and a little less Carmack. Instead I got more of the sky is falling.

Note that I don't intend to ever do this at my ISP, nor my IX.

Thanks, I was a bit confused why you said it, which is apparently because I was confused. :slight_smile:

I agree we need to do a better job educating users why this is important.

And just so my opinion is clear, if there were a true market, I would not mind ISPs who did this (with proper notice). Unfortunately, over half of all households in the US have one or fewer choices for broadband providers. I am one of them. What do I do if my ISP wants to collect my data? VPN everything?

As I say often. Perhaps a better way of handling things is instead of running to the government every time we get a tear in our eyes, vote with feet\wallets. Support your local independent (well, the ones that believe whatever it is you believe).

I generally believe less government is better government. But government is still necessary for a few things, such as the military. And privacy. Because privacy invasion is a crime committed in secret, so economic "voting" doesn't work. Without a law prohibiting selling of browser data, ISPs will simply lie and say they don't do it (as many already have).

A VPN is no help. Every browser has to jump on the bare Internet somewhere, and where it does, data can be captured and then analyzed to identify individual user signatures. As the NSA (thank you Snowden) has so ably demonstrated.

A law gives victims access to the power of legal discovery, civil damages, and even criminal prosecution. Where data privacy is concerned, we must have it.

-mel beckman

Even though your example is a bit melodramatic I agree with the concept,
all the arguments against the ownership that users have on their own
data is just hogwash.

If there needs to be government imposed regulations to ensure it, I have
zero problems with it.


My example is simply a reductio ad absurdum, to demonstrate the error of the idea that ISPs should be allowed to resell data "because money". :slight_smile:


Are there really no others or are the ones that are there just marketing themselves poorly? Any nearby you could convince to expand?

Over my WISP's coverage, I have at least 13 WISP competitors, 7 broadband wireline and nearly that many enterprise fiber. I admit that may be exceptional.

What is lost if AT&T or Comcast sells my anonymized usage habits?

Quite frankly I think targeting advertising is a great thing. On TV I see all kinds of commercials for medicine for diseases I've never heard of, old people complications I won't have for another 40 or 50 years, etc. Waste of my time, waste of their dollars. Targeted advertising brings me Hurricane Electric advertisements, network gear, servers, etc. Things I'm likely to be shopping for. Seems better in every way.

You'd have better luck getting regulation passed with precise language. The collected information can (or cannot) be used in these specific ways.

ISPs lying? Sounds like something for the courts, not capitol hill.

Otherwise it just sounds like whining. I don't like them either, but certain groups will do whatever they can do "get back" at AT&T, Comcast, etc. regardless of what flag they're flying at the time (privacy, net neutrality, doughnut selections, whatever).

They're NOT anonymized. Aren't you paying attention?

Anonymization -- *real* anonymization -- is hard. Hard means expensive.
It also reduces the sale price of the data. There is no reason for any
of these companies to spend the required money in order to sell the data
for less than they could get otherwise. Why should they reduce their
obscene profits? (a) Nobody's going to make them and (b) most people
are as ignorant as you are and therefore aren't demanding it.

It's much easier and more profitable to *claim* that the data is anonymized,
maybe make a token (and worthless) gesture at making it so, and laugh all
the way to the bank.

And let me note that in passing that even if -- and this is a very faint
"if" -- they're really anonymizing your data, it's not anonymized
at the point of collection. Sooner or later, someone with access --
whether authorized or not -- will tap into that. Of course they will,
it's far too valuable to be ignored indefinitely. Maybe it'll be an
insider operation, maybe it'll be just one person, maybe it'll be outside
attackers, maybe it'll be an intelligence or law enforcement agency.

The point is that these data collection operations are obvious,
high-value targets, therefore they WILL be attacked, and given the
thoroughly miserable history of the security postures in play, they
WILL be attacked succcessfully. So even if you're foolish and naive
enough to believe the professional spokesliars at AT&T and Comcast,
you should always keep in mind that this data will *not* be confined to
those operations. It will be for sale, in raw unredacted form, on the
darknet to anyone who can pay and/or it will be loaded into the data
warehouses of any agency that chooses to acquire it.


And so what if it is?

What's the downside here?

All if you are in a tizzy over a policy that's been dead for a while.



I know Mr. Glass thinks of me as a not knowledgeable network professional, but I hope you know I’ve been doing “ISP stuff” for a couple decades. I know how to work the system. There really are not any other broadband providers in my area. Hell, LTE doesn’t even work well in my house, and I am less than a dozen miles from the center of Boston.

But more importantly, even if there were a second provider, how do you expect Joe & Mary User to find that provider if I cannot? (Not trying to be arrogant, just saying I am more experience in this field than the average consumer.)

Broadband competition in the US is a myth, at least for most people. At best, competition is the exception, not the rule. At worst, it’s a thinly veiled monopoly. Hell, they brag about it being a duopoly where they can, as if that’s a great thing. Comcast’s chairman brags that Time Warner & Comcast do not compete in any cities.

You can’t sue someone because they do something you do not like. Well, you can, but you won’t win.

I guess you could ask for the providers to put it in their terms of service so you have something actionable to sue on. Now see my previous post. I tell my provider “put in a clause that says you won’t sell my data”. They reply “no”. And I do … what exactly?

. . . . . . . . .

Not sure we will get closure here. Some people think ISPs should be allowed to see data. Others do not. I am in the latter camp. The law is on the desk of POTUS which will do exactly what I do not want. My guess is he will sign it.

Posting to NANOG will not change that. Shall we agree to disagree and move on?