These headlines don’t even make sense! Why does society continue to pick on the very people who provide us with the connections that we need to work, play, and communicate? Are Internet Service Providers the new Illuminati?
By reading certain tech blogs and Mainstream News articles lately you’d think so. Over the past 24 hours I have noticed that various click-bait headlines from usually reputable news sources all cite the same story with the same headline. That is that Congress, namely “evil” Republicans in general, just voted in favor of selling your internet history.
Despite leading with that very misleading title, if one chooses to actually read some of these stories you only get the real story half way through the article. After a bunch of nonsensical hyperbole protecting yourself with VPNs even though once you sign up for a VPN your private data is exposed to them rather than an ISP. So who are you going to trust with your data? An ISP which have their own policies about not ever imposing on customer data, and the only cases of this have been in extreme circumstances, or VPNs which before all these scare tactics, were mainly used by those very same shady people ISPs themselves expose? A basic search of VPN practices, looser company policies, lobbying efforts or studies on if they in any way are the saviors that the internet does indeed think they are yields no results.
It is quite interesting to see VPNs being mentioned more and more as their practices are totally unregulated, and lobby just as hard as the ISPs do. On top of that anybody using any type of encryption method will have their internet speed slow gradually. Meaning, that the problems people cited during the whole Net Neutrality fiasco, may have been a result of their VPN, if they had one set up. Paranoid people, those who try to protect themselves against the evil ISPs, usually don’t set these things up properly.
To further highlight just how sensational these headlines are, the examples the Washington Post cites is that a company may ask Facebook to sell advertising. The fundamental problem with this example is that Facebook is NOT an ISP, and they have a marketing platform anybody can sign up for and use to target people. There is no platform that the ISP uses to target men 45-55. ISP’s acquisition of customers are solely based on city wide grabs which are also ironically fought over in Congress or at the local government level. That should be what people are complaining about, not more nonsensical stuff which is a lot like Net Neutrality. ISP’s also aren’t going to get rich selling your data. They already make enough money from your cell phone and internet and cable plans.