Are you ready to laugh your ass off at Paul Ryan’s #Liftspiration, or gawk at the surely horrifying things Mitch McConnell Googles late at night when all of his interns have gone home? (We’re guessing he has this one bookmarked.) Well, Cards Against Humanity creator Max Temkin wants to help make that beautifully spiteful dream a reality. Earlier this week, Temkin promised on Twitter to buy up the browser histories of every member of Congress and their aides and publish them all should the House approve measures to allow ISPs to sell customers’ private data without their consent. The next day, our elected representatives did just that, and to his credit Temkin seems to be following through on his plan.
He’s doing so by matching donations up to $10,000 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which isn’t as sexy as having a good chuckle at Lindsey Graham’s porn viewing habits but, as Temkin points out, is the best thing to do for now. “We don’t know if there will be any data to buy, how it will work, or what will be available,” he writes on Reddit. “This means you should be very skeptical of any GoFundMe projects to buy this data.” (He’s presumably referring, at least in part, to the campaign started by “net neutrality activist” Adam McElhaney that we wrote about yesterday.)
If and when that data does become available, Temkin says he and his company will buy it and put it online. “This may take a long time,” he cautions. “We may have to file FOIA requests. We may have to buy browsing data for Congressional office building ZIP codes and then p-hack our way to statistical significance in an attempt to fish spurious correlations out of unreliable datasets, but we’ve done it before.” In the meantime, he encourages people pissed off about internet privacy to do more than upvote and retweet, suggesting the app 5 Calls as an easy way to make your voice heard in a way that Congress actually cares about. As he puts it on Twitter: