I’ve been eager to hear how GOP lawmakers will respond to concerns about their policy, and American Bridge, a Democratic super PAC, posted a video yesterday of Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) answering a constituent’s question about this. The Wisconsin Republican said:“You know, nobody’s got to use the internet…. I don’t think it’s my job to tell you that you cannot get advertising through your information being sold. My job, I think, is to tell you that you have the opportunity to do it and then you take it upon yourself to make the choice….”The congressman’s press office added yesterday afternoon that Sensenbrenner made the case “that nobody has to use the internet. They have a choice.”
Oh. So if you have privacy concerns about ISPs selling your browsing history without your knowledge or consent, the solution isn’t Obama-era consumer safeguards. Evidently, Jim Sensenbrenner believes you should simply choose to stay offline.
I suppose in a literal sense, the Republican lawmaker is correct. Americans don’t have to access the internet. They also don’t have to use electricity or indoor plumbing. Modern amenities have become part of our lives, but those with concerns about the way in which these services are used can choose to go without.