Twitter and Reddit users have pointed out that it probably won’t be as simple as handing over a list of names of lawmakers and getting their browsing histories back in return. Temkin, acknowledging this, noted in a Reddit post that “this may take a long time.” He writes that Freedom of Information requests may be needed to fill in missing information; the data handed over may be for an entire ZIP code and not for an individual; and a lot of statistical work may have to go into linking the browsing data with specific congressmen.

This raises an ironic point. The difficulties Temkin describes in linking browsing history to individuals confound his own argument. If congressmen wouldn’t be easily identifiable under the new rules, neither would individuals. As long as ISPs anonymize and group customer data together based on broad categories like ZIP codes, picking out individuals from those data sets will require a lot of work.


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