Thursday, March 30, 2017

Snow Jobs - Literal and Figurative (Or How Much Did Murkowski, Sullivan, And Young Get To Give Away Internet Privacy?)

The Literal Snow Job

There were about 10 inches of fresh snow yesterday in Anchorage.  Here's our backyard.

And here's our mountain ash tree in front after a gust of wind.

The Figurative Snow Job

The Verge compiled a table of contributions from telecom companies to US senators and representatives who voted 'yes' yesterday to grant them the right to sell people's internet browsing information without permission and without anonymizing it.    The got the data from Follow the Money.

You can see the whole list at the Verge link.  I'm just looking at our Alaskan senators and member of congress.

Murkowski, Lisa Republican AK $66,250

Sullivan, Daniel Republican AK $10,550

Member of Congress
Young, Don Republican AK 1st $28,650

The Joint Resolution 34 passed in the senate 50 (all Republicans) to 48 (all Democrats) with two Republicans absent.  Going through the contributions, Sen. Murkowski was the 21st highest recipient among the Republicans.  (They didn't list how much Democrats got from these companies.)  Sen. Sullivan received the 3rd lowest amount, which could indicate his lack of influence or that they know his vote is locked anyway.  I'd note that one senator received $0 - the newly appointed Sen. Strange from Alabama taking Sen. Sessions seat after his appointment to Attorney General.

Rep. Young got the 65th highest amount among the Republicans who voted for the bill, which puts him in the top 30%.   There were 215 Republicans who voted for the bill, 15 Republicans who voted against it, and 205 Democrats who voted against it.  Six Republicans and three Democrats did not vote.  

The 15 Republicans who voted against the bill are the interesting group.  Here's the list (From GovTrack):

Nay  R  Brooks, MoAL 5th
Nay  R  McClintock, TomCA 4th
Nay  R  Coffman, MikeCO 6th
Nay  R  Yoder, KevinKS 3rd
Nay  R  Graves, GarretLA 6th
Nay  R  Amash, JustinMI 3rd
Nay  R  Zeldin, LeeNY 1st
Nay  R  Faso, JohnNY 19th
Nay  R  Stefanik, EliseNY 21st
Nay  R  Jones, WalterNC 3rd
Nay  R  Davidson, WarrenOH 8th
Nay  R  Sanford, MarkSC 1st
Nay  R  Duncan, JohnTN 2nd
Nay  R  Herrera Beutler, JaimeWA 3rd
Nay  R  Reichert, DavidWA 8th

Note:  I did NOT go back and double check the amounts each candidate received.  I did spend a little time on the Follow The Money website, but I wasn't sure how to duplicate the search they did.  There are a number of variables that could probably change the amounts.  Thus, I also couldn't check to see how much the Republicans and Democrats who voted against the resolution received from the same groups.

Additional more:  Several people have started lucrative crowdsourcing pages to get and publish the private browsing of all the members of the US Congress.  But Techcruncher and others say this isn't likely to happen.  They say that non-anonymized data is NOT available, plus private purchaser can't just come in and buy the data unless the ISP agrees.  The Freedom of Information Act only covers the federal government, not private companies.  And after giving millions to members of congress to get this done, they aren't likely to turn around and stab them in the back.

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