Keeping Quiet? Better Buy It. AT&T To Charge For Online Surveillance Opt-Out


So it's come to this.  We're now "afforded" the option to bribe companies out of spying on us...




As internet speeds grow faster, so does the transfer of your personal information.  It seems that not only are Americans willing to give up privacy for a little security, we're also willing to give it up just for quicker downloads of stupid cat videos.

As reported by techsmash.com, AT&T is now charging $70 for high-speed Gigabit internet, and another $29 if you don't want them to track you during your adventures on said internet.  While other companies offer this opt-out service for free, AT&T apparently decided to parlay the value of privacy into a moneymaking scheme.


Great, now they're tracking me for googling "internet gulag."
(Image courtesy quickmeme.com.)

AT&T's website states that they monitor, "The web pages you visit, the time you spend on each, the links or ads you see and follow, and the search terms you enter."  Well, that's not going to paint a pretty picture.  But at least they are sure to follow that statement with a patronizing, "We will not collect information from secure (https) or otherwise encrypted sites, such as when you enter your credit card to buy something online or do online banking on a secure site."  Gee thanks for, you know, not committing major financial fraud?

Since we as internet users have little choice in the matter, how can it be considered ethical to try to financially deter us from surfing safely and secretly?  Privacy shouldn't come with penalties, particularly not payoffs.  If this is how we expect to be treated at the world's nexus of knowledge, how far are we going to let it go in real life?

The next generation of secret police don't even need the "secret" prefix anymore.
Oppression is now overt, and pay-for-privacy is a perturbing part of that.
(Image courtesy consumerwatchdog.org.)

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