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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/28/22

The SCOTUS Abortion Ruling Highlights the Dire Loss of Democracy in America

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Message Thom Hartmann
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Reprinted from hartmannreport.com

If we don't get a correction - get ready for the vigilantes to come for your daughter when she's raped and looking for options on the internet"

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Across America, women and girls are deleting period-tracking apps from their smartphones and fitness trackers so police and bounty-hunter vigilantes from Red states can't use their data to pinpoint people getting abortions or having "suspicious" miscarriages.

But that won't be enough.

Ever since Donald Trump and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai ended "net neutrality," which should have been called "net privacy," your Internet Service Provider (ISP) "- the company that brings the internet into your home (and your phone company when it comes to your smart phone) "- can track and record every website you visit, read every email you send or receive, and log every search you do even if you're using duckduckgo or other "private" search engines.

By 6-3, Republicans on the Court agreed with Trump that the FCC could open the floodgates to tracking you and me and selling our data to anybody they please, as I wrote about at length in The Hidden History of Big Brother in America.

They then can "- and most do "- legally sell your information to data brokers who compile it along with your social media, government records, purchased records from retailers like pharmacies, and other publicly available information.

Most Americans believe this data is anonymized or only used by responsible companies to deliver ads: they are wrong. Any Republican politician or militia member with a few bucks can buy pretty much anything he wants to know about you, thanks to Trump and the GOP.

Such activity is illegal "- a felony "- in every other developed country in the world. Only in America is such privacy invasion not only legal but a multi-billion-dollar business. It's literally the business model of the largest internet-based companies in the country.

And, yes, they're already doing it to bust and punish individuals for their behavior.

It was such a sale to a data broker that led Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill, a Wisconsin Catholic priest who was the General Secretary of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, to resign last year when his use of a gay dating app and subsequent visits to gay prostitutes "- found by purchasing location data from his phone "- was acquired and used against him.

Imagine how much more motivated elected Republican Attorneys General, their police agencies, and vigilantes looking at $10,000-per-person bounties will be to buy and use data from health apps and online searches. It's a safe bet it's going on as you read these words: literally millions of such data transfers, sales, and purchases happen every day in America.

We arrived at this sorry place because of a lack of democracy in America. It's a deficiency we must remedy if we want to remain a functioning republic.

The Senate

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)

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