‘You Betrayed Us’ Billboards Targeting Anti-Privacy Lawmakers Erected

The ads encourage viewers to contact legislators' offices and ask why they voted to let broadband providers sell user data.
By @nadiaprupis |
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    "Members of Congress who help monopolies get richer while undermining our online privacy and attacking net neutrality will soon see that they can't hide from the public on these issues." (Photo: Fight for the Future/cc)

    “Members of Congress who help monopolies get richer while undermining our online privacy and attacking net neutrality will soon see that they can’t hide from the public on these issues.” (Photo: Fight for the Future/cc)

    Billboards targeting legislators who voted to end online privacy measures earlier this year have gone up in key districts, as promised by activists.

    Digital rights group Fight for the Future vowed to put up the ads against Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and John Rutherford (R-Fla.), Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.), as well as other lawmakers after they voted in favor of a resolution, introduced by Flake, that overturned federal rules preventing broadband providers from selling user data to third parties without consent.

    Blackburn, Rutherford, Flake, and Heller took large contributions from the telecommunications industry before supporting the resolution, Fight for the Future said. The billboards—paid for through a crowdfunded campaign—encourage viewers to contact the lawmakers’ offices and ask why they voted against their constituents’ privacy rights.

    “Members of Congress who help monopolies get richer while undermining our online privacy and attacking net neutrality will soon see that they can’t hide from the public on these issues,” said the group’s co-founder Tiffiniy Cheng. “Everyone who drives by one of these billboards will know exactly how much money these lawmakers took in exchange for selling off their basic right to use the web safely, and handing their most personal information to advertisers.”

    Flake’s resolution was introduced under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which gives lawmakers the authority to overturn recently-introduced agency rules with a simple majority. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) implemented the data-sharing ban in October.

    Once a rule is repealed under the CRA, an agency cannot reintroduce it without specific authorization by a new law.

    “Congress voting to gut internet privacy was one of the most blatant displays of corruption in recent history,” Cheng said. “They might think that they’ve gotten away with it, but they’re wrong. These billboards are just the latest example of the growing public backlash to these attacks on our internet freedom and privacy.”

    This work by --- is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.This work by Common Dreams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.


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    • We’re all being tested by the elite to determine our mass sheeple factor.

      The only real differences between the demos and repubs has been that the repubs have led the way down their corporate yellow brick road. We’ve seen them become more blatant, open and even pretentiously arrogant about exercising their proclaimed privilege since at least as early as the WMD pre-emptive invasion of Iraq, while Bush winks, looks under the podium and declares there are no WMD under there…

      During this last election, the dems came out themselves from behind their curtain of delusion, and openly, even proudly while declaring themselves “progressive”, rebuked each and every progressive issue that was brought up by the Sanders campaign and those of us even further left.

      Since Trump has adorned himself in the sweet fruits of the us presidency, I have seen little effort made to hide or disguise anything, except when cornered for the truth, and in which case all is either denied and/or made silent.

      Things like Fake News are the way they can use words to delay and confuse, but in the end we are at the doorstep of fascism. The Unitary Executive principle is already in full force, and if we are going to stop them, without using force, it must be by public opinion.

      And that does mean it has to be done using the media and by word-of-mouth, such as when we shop, blog, socialize…

      Billboards serve a much better purpose too when they promote democracy over capitalism. People need to be better educated on how those two things are different, and inherently incompatible in their purest forms.

      And crowd-funding is the most democratic way I can think of to promote our democracy…

      It can’t be about pay-to-play. It must be about inclusion with love, not prejudice.

      • TeeJae

        Well said.

    • tapatio

      Excellent ad campaign. If these corrupt legislators must flee their LEGITIMATE constituents, they won’t survive the next election cycle.

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    • TecumsehUnfaced

      Why should these corrupt quacks of legislators be disturbed? Don’t they already have lucrative lobbyist jobs lined up?