Members of Congress who voted to sell constituents’ online browsing habits are now having theirs violated back home – on large billboards.
A crowdfunding campaign has successfully raised enough money to embarrass the Republican senators who led the charge on the bill that would allow Americans’ browser history to be bought and sold to the highest bidder. Activists at the nonprofit Fight for the Future raised $25,000, which will go toward full-size billboards on heavily traveled roads in several senators’ home states.
The four senators who will be publicly shamed are Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nevada), Rep. John Rutherford (R-Florida), and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona). The premise of the billboard campaign is to name the senator, show their face, name the amount of money they’ve received in campaign contributions from the telecommunications industry over the course of their careers, and then give the phone number to their office while telling constituents to ask them why they voted for the unpopular bill. The billboard reads:
Blackburn betrayed you. She took $497,499 from telecoms, then she voted to let them sell your web history without your permission. Ask her why, call: 615-591-5161
Gizmodo reported that in just the 2016 election cycle alone, those four senators took in almost $200,000 in campaign contributions from telecoms giants like Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T. While Democrats in the Senate also received campaign donations from those companies, the important distinction is that the anti-privacy bill passed solely on a party-line vote, and got zero support from Democrats. The Verge’s list of members of both the House and Senate who took telecoms donations and voted to sell your web history are all Republicans.
Here are some of the billboards that will run, thanks to the crowdfunding campaign:
Jamie Green is a contributor to the Resistance Report covering the Trump administration, and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.