Marsha Blackburn , Congresswoman behind bill to let ISPs sell your search history took $693,000 from industry
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), sponsor of anti-privacy measure up for vote in Congress, has received a career financed by web service providers
Update: The House has passed the resolution with a vote of 215-205.]
The campaign contributions began small, using a handful of donations of a few thousand dollars each. In recent elections, however, it’s ballooned, with AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon each giving among their favorite politicians in Congress between $15,000 and $20,000 every two years. All told, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), author of a controversial resolution to let internet providers sell customers’ search histories to advertisers without notice or permission, has racked up well over half a million dollars in campaign contributions from that sector over the course of her career.
The rules mandated internet providers like Verizon and Comcast get before offering marketers sensitive search histories permission is ’ed by customers.
MORESenators Fighting On-Line Privacy Rules Take Cash From Business
Blackburn didn’t respond to request for an explanation of how consumers could be directly helped by the resolution. Vocativ was formerly offered a statement defending the resolution as a defense against the FCC, arguing that it should simply create privacy rules that are such together with all the Federal Trade Commission by her. A dual regulatory strategy is only going to serve to generate confusion inside the Web ecosystem and damage consumers,” Blackburn said.
But an extended look at her history of industry campaign donations to her, comprised of both people on the market as well as their affiliated political action committees, reveals the industry has substantially financed her election campaigns on the length of her 14-year congressional career, totaling at least $693,000.
“Representative Blackburn hasn’t done one thing which crosses the telephone and cable lobby,” said Senior Director of Strategy, Tim Karr at Free Press, a nonprofit that weighs in on on-line privacy issues. “She has been, for as long as I’ve understood her, a victor of whatever plan they set before her, and even when it means going against issues that benefit her constituents.”
“She has received more from your cable and phone lobby than almost any member of the House of Representatives,” Karr said.
Blackburn has a long history of laws backed by the telecommunications lobby. She's repeatedly spearheaded attempts to kill net neutrality in Congress with an ironically named “Internet Freedom Act,” and supposedly got a conservative think tank staffer fired for asserting a 1998 online copyright law should be reformed by Republicans.
But unlike with her anti-web neutrality bills, Blackburn’s recent efforts to rescind the FCC privacy rules has serious support from her co-workers. A Senate companion to her legislation and the Senate passed before in March. Because it’s composed as a joint resolution as opposed to a more normal bill, it is both filibuster-proof from Democrats and can prevent the FCC from creating similar rules in the long run.
Blackburn’s resolution is slated for a Tuesday vote, indicating she considers she has enough support that the House will be similarly passed by it. At that point, it will likely be a signature from President Trump far from becoming law.