On March 28, Rep. Dan Newhouse, ignoring pleas from many constituents, voted with 230 other Republicans to allow internet service providers to track and sell information on all your internet usage — the device and apps you use, sites you visit, how often and when — and bar the Federal Communications Commission from regulating use of this information in the future.
Why would our representative vote against our interests? He claims the privacy-protecting rules he helped eliminate failed to cover social media and other activities that collect sensitive information. Perhaps adding privacy protections — not abolishing them — is the solution to that problem.
One factor might be campaign contributions doled out by the telecommunication giants; Rep. Newhouse’s 2016 campaign received $10,000 directly, but that is only part of the story. His campaign also received a total of $55,139 from 15 Republican committees that collectively received $619,650 from the telecommunications industry. This information is available from campaign financing reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission and is compiled on OpenSecrets.org.
During Rep. Newhouse’s first term (2015-16) the telecom giants spent over $98 million lobbying Congress and made over $21 million in contributions. No wonder they got the law they wanted.
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Gina McCoy, Winthrop