Purchase Private Internet Histories

$210,002 of $10k goal

Raised by 13,359 people in 1 month
Adam McElhaney  CHATTANOOGA, TN
I am Adam McElhaney, a privacy activist & net neutrality advocate from Chattanooga, Tn.

I think that your private Internet history should be yours. I also believe your Internet should be neutral.
I am raising money to help secure those freedoms.
It is my ultimate hope that we will be able to use the donations to restore our right to privacy.


I have laid out a plan on our course of action. This isn't going to be easy and this will not be quick. I'm going to continue fighting for you.

Should something happen and I fail you, I want you to know that this money belongs to you and our cause. I have no intentions of keeping a nickel. I have no intentions of withdrawing any money until I am certain I can deliver.

GoFundMe let me know that offering to route certain people's donations to different organizations is complex. That said, if we can't buy the data in the end for whatever reason, we'll send funds to EFF so they can continue fighting for this mission. Refunds will still be possible too.


It will be your choice.

But I am not giving up and neither should you.

We are stronger united.

---

What started it all:

Thanks to the Senate for passing S.J.Res 34 , now your Internet history can be bought.

I plan on purchasing the Internet histories of all legislators, congressmen, executives, and their families and make them easily searchable at searchinternethistory.com.

Everything from their medical, pornographic, to their financial and infidelity.

Anything they have looked at, searched for, or visited on the Internet will now be available for everyone to comb through.

Help me raise money to buy the histories of those who took away your right to privacy for just thousands of dollars from telephone and ISPs.  Your private data will be bought and sold to marketing companies, law enforcement.

Let's turn the tables. Let's buy THEIR history and make it available.

-----------------

Check me out on Twitter @windmarble  or Facebook to see who I am.

I didn't censor any of my accounts or pictures. What you see is what you get.

Yes, I use social media. I understand that what I put on the Internet is out there and not private. Those are the risks you assume. I'm not ashamed of what I put out on the Internet.

However, I don't think that what I lookup on the Internet, what sites I visit, my browsing habits, should be bought and sold to whoever. Without my consent.

Join me in the fight to turn the tables and do whatever it takes to take back your privacy.
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Update 27
Posted by Adam McElhaney
6 days ago
   Share
2
2
Some people have messaged me asking to refund their donation. I do not actually have your donation. The money has always been in GoFundMe’s account.

I have not withdrawn any money.

So, a request for a refund needs to go through them at https://www.gofundme.com/contact.

Thank you again!
+ Read More
Update 26
Posted by Adam McElhaney
6 days ago
   Share
2
2
Thank you all for your patience!

I felt the need to create a video for this very important update.

It is visible here: https://youtu.be/sVzpL3VkcRw

For those who can’t view the video, I have copied-and-pasted my speech here.

Transcript:

Hello, I am Adam McElhaney.

I could not imagine the support that I would have received when I started this project.

I take our privacy and rights very seriously. Our cause has raised over $211,000. That number is amazing and certainly sends a message that we all value our rights to privacy. It also sent a message that our government should be held to the same issues we face.

I knew going into this, it was a very tough, up-hill battle. I am not an ad agency or a social media powerhouse with billions that I can use to get ISP's data. I am one man. Trying to make a difference. Trying to start somewhere. Someone needed to start doing something.

Here is how planned on getting the data. Bear with me as I hope this will all make sense in the end.

When I started, I said I wanted to get the internet histories of those who voted for this law.

That has not changed.

What I didn't mention was *WHERE* I planned on getting the data. If I told you that I was going to come after your web habits, your search history, you might - as I imagine many of you did - change what you look up on your home computers. This is what I wanted our legislators to think - their home internet connections where being targeted. When in fact I was coming for their office server data. That data is subject to Freedom of Information Act requests and very obtainable.

Even if they didn't change their habits the data stored in their work proxy servers would still be a trove of information. Maybe even more telling than home.

The reason I am telling this to you now is, I think the cat is out-of-the-bag. After the first forty paper requests went out, a few days later I was contacted by a friend who happens to work in the offices of a senators. She said that word is getting around that "the GoFundMe guy that has raised all that money for privacy is trying to get our work internet history."

Now after about 80 paper requests have gone out, I have received responses back from three. They simply stated they do not have the data I requested. Oddly enough they were all requests for the same person, Marsha Blackburn. But, it makes sense. I am in Tennessee and three of her offices are in Tennessee so the mail would have gotten to her offices faster. After that I have received no other responses.

So, as you can imagine many agencies are probably now dragging their feet. I can't think of anyone who would be jumping at the chance to be the first to give up the internet histories of senators and house members.

I’ll post a few of the responses I have received on the website. I’ll just need to get a scanner as one of them is a paper response.

So that is where I am at now.

I have been working about 3-4 hours every night looking up the multiple offices of senators and house members, then looking up who handles FOIA requests for their many offices, finding their address, filling out forms, printing, signing, mailing. It has turned into a part-time job which is starting to be expensive.

Which leads me to GoFundMe.

I originally put a goal of $10,000 – hoping I could get some help with web hosting, printing, postage, etc.. But then the site went viral and the GoFundMe grew to such a large amount. I never imagined I would be able to raise $211,000.

With so many people angry at what was happening. So many who felt our government once again sold us - and our rights - to corporations to just pad both of their bank accounts. The people who donated wanted a voice. And they did. With the donations from over 13,000 people we got heard. Our movement made some noise and brought this issue into the national spotlight.

With such an outpouring of support – I felt I need to work harder. And I have, it just – as I have stated before - takes time.

Now, I am reaching a 30-day mark with GoFundMe. With that milestone money needs to be withdrawn from the account. At the start of all this I promised you that I wouldn't use any of your donations until I was able to purchase some data.

I had hoped I would have something by now. But I don’t. But with the GoFundMe 30-day mark approaching I don’t feel like I should pull down any donations. Even to recover some of my costs. I think it is only fair that everyone's money be refunded.

At the close of this video, I would invite you to once again make a choice to be heard. GoFundMe has offered to refund anyone’s donation that would want it throughout this week. At the close of this week any donations left over will be given to the EFF as I promised it would.

The EFF is a wonderful organization that tirelessly fights for our digital rights all the time: https://www.eff.org/

Your voice was heard. I have heard you and I'm not going to stop fighting for you. This isn’t over. I’m not quitting. I am not giving up. I want something done. I want some data to show our legislators what it feels like to be us. Hardworking Americans who want nothing more than a government who works for us. Not for some corporation and not to stay in office.

Don’t think this is over. It’s not. This isn’t the last time you’ll hear from me.

If you would like to continue following me and my efforts, I created a Facebook page that you all can share. If you would like to continue to support me, you can visit SearchInternetHistory.com. The page has been updated to reflect how you can continue to support me and our movement. I plan on keep you all updated with my progress and ways to protect yourselves.

Remember we are stronger united.

Thank you.

+ Read More
Update 25
Posted by Adam McElhaney
9 days ago
   Share
1
1
Still working on getting everything together for a big announcement later this week!

In the meantime – While I don’t really use Facebook that much, I recognize ability to connect and easily share information with everyone without a bunch of email updates. If you want, you can LIKE the official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SearchInternetHistory
On it I plan to provide updates on the site, my progress, details on how to protect yourself, and other information about our movement.


Check it out at:
https://www.facebook.com/SearchInternetHistory
+ Read More
Update 24
Posted by Adam McElhaney
10 days ago
   Share
6
6
I have a big update coming later this week!
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update
Jerry Maya
1 month ago

Reach out to LastWeekTonight. This seems like something they would support.

+ Read More
Tracy Norton
1 month ago

Message me on Facebook or Twitter (@millennialprof). I have a team of lawyers and writers ready to help.

+ Read More
Dusty Gutierrez
1 month ago

Love this. Would like to donate. Would just like to know what your plans are for the money you raise if your endeavors are not able to be brought to fruition? Donate; which causes?

+ Read More
Travis Ploeger
1 month ago

1) please keep updating your progress. 2) if for some reason, you aren't able to achieve the stated mission, what happens to the raised funds? 3) please limit your searches to those who voted FOR the bill? Why punish those who did the right thing?

+ Read More
Mark Kordick
1 month ago

I agree with Dusty Gutierrez. You need a public backup plan for excess or unused donations. Might I respectfully suggest the the Electronic Frontier Foundation? https://www.eff.org/ (Full disclosure: Not associated with the EFF - just a supporter.)

+ Read More
Daniel A. Stimler
1 month ago

They didn't take our families into consideration when they passed this bill, neither should we.

+ Read More
Kersti Ahven
1 month ago

Skepticism is healthy. Questions are healthy Civil discussion and action in this age of Trump is needed! If for no other reason, the incredible response to this crowdfunding is sending a powerful collective message , worth much more than my $10. It's about time that those on corporate and legislative WELFARE got a taste of their own nasty medicine. I am probably going to continue to contribute more for those who cannot. For a New Citizens United! I'm almost 70 and have never been as ashamed and angry at Congress in my life. I'm mad as hell and not going to it any more

+ Read More
Andrew Crosson
1 month ago

I will donate if you post information on what happens to the money if you don't raise enough, and more details on how exactly you'll purchase the history. I want to make sure you're not just enriching yourself... if you can convince me, I will DEFINITELY donate!

+ Read More
Barbara Wood Halaburt
1 month ago

I would like to suggest that any unused funds be donated to the ACLU Privacy and Technology division. They are also advocating for individuals right to internet privacy. https://www.aclu.org/issues/privacy-technology

+ Read More
Myron Destructowitz
1 month ago

Forty six thousand dollars collected, and no plan presented on exactly how you intend to obtain this data. There is no plausible way to just legally ask for somebody's search history BY NAME. Despite the House's actions, there are still prevailing privacy laws in other areas that prevent this scenario from being plausible. Not to mention other issues that would run afoul of contract law, let alone individual protections. I know the house vote on the FCC angered us, but this hasn't been thought through and your communications make it apparent. And who are you buying this from? Google? Facebook? How do you suppose it's priced? Is there a price sheet or is it a contract negotiation? It could be that you made this half-baked proposal and people responded to it with emotion and now you're in over your head. Do the right thing. You were given 46k (so far). You have every right to maybe take a tiny bit out for your own effort. But the majority of this is preying off of people's misplaced aspirations. You'd do well to find some worthy causes to put the money towards that benefit the public interest. I'd hate to hear several months down the line that you just spent it all. That's really bad juju and it will haunt your future if you let that happen.

+ Read More
Jennifer Lurani Evans
1 month ago

I see that there are a couple of other sites and efforts such as this - I hope you will consider joining forces. Thanks for your creative action. Jennifer

+ Read More
Kate MacRoss
1 month ago

Please provide information regarding: 1) Specifically how the money will be spent; 2) Where the information will be published; 3) If you are combining efforts with other groups; and 4) How any funds over your goal will be spent. Thank you!

+ Read More
Nancy Jackson
1 month ago

I vote for Mitch McConnell -- get his browser history out there stat! Agree with others: if you are unable to achieve the goal please do come up with a good resister alternative. And please be transparent about which way the whole thing goes. We're behind you on this!

+ Read More
Jayann Chipman
1 month ago

Misha Collins is doing this as well. You guys should join forces!! Also, he probably has good plans for the money if it doesn't come to fruition, he has some great charitable organizations of his own. His campaign is called "Buy Congress' Internet Data." You should check it out.

+ Read More
Bill Bayer
1 month ago

Sen Jeff Flake was the sponsor of the bill, IMHO, he should be first. Then the higher profile the better, and I'd include trump, bannon, etc... in that list.

+ Read More
Paula Cusumano DeRoo
1 month ago

I donated $10 and if nothing comes from it, at the very least it'll send a message to lawmakers - we're NOT GOING AWAY. And I guarantee you, I've wasted 10 bucks on worse things, if that ends up being the case!

+ Read More
Myron Destructowitz
1 month ago

Please stop giving this man money. He has no idea what he's talking about and no plan. Think critically about this so called proposal, and how that might even begin to work. You'll quickly realize the whole premise is farcical. At a minimum, consider Cards Against Humanity just pledged to do this without collecting a dime of your money. No doubt because they too realize this is an absolutely unquantifiable, unachievable goal and you shouldn't give out your money to strangers who make outrageous claims that have no follow through because they're unquantifiable and unachievable objectives. Christ, this makes Kony 2012 look respectable.

+ Read More
Myron Destructowitz
1 month ago

Folks, there's no need for this campaign anymore. Cards against Humanity offered to do it for free. Get your refund before this guy spends it. Instructions on how to get your refund are on GoFundMe's Help Center Page.

+ Read More
Christopher Landress
1 month ago

You're making a LOT of assumptions without having actually read the bill in its entirety. The internet companies are under ZERO obligation to sell a specific individual's search history. Furthermore, it does not limit the internet company's liability for selling said data, so the provider sis still on the hook if they sell a persons identity to a stalker or murderer. You're taking advantage of peoples outrage.

+ Read More
Jim Boegman
1 month ago

Might want to consider combining with the gofundme BuyCongressData

+ Read More

$210,002 of $10k goal

Raised by 13,359 people in 1 month
Created March 25, 2017
Adam McElhaney  
$5
Richard Nowacki
2 days ago
LB
$10
lorena broesamle
5 days ago

We need to go forward and not give up on this. Too much goes on we don't know about and how many people rose up when Snowden gave up his life so we could know? Not enough for sure. Stick with it!

CG
$10
CHARLES GREGORY
5 days ago
1
1

EFF will put any of the money this project gives to them to work in exactly the right way. These folks were amongst the very first to take up this 21st century fight, and they brought it on in the 20th! Still time to add some dollars to the same fight this project means to address. Adam, EFF is the RIGHT MOVE!

$10
Anonymous
6 days ago
BJ
$5
BJ Johnson
6 days ago
$30
Anonymous
6 days ago
EG
$10
Elizabeth Gulick
7 days ago
JS
$15
John Sable
8 days ago

I can not wait to see where the Honorable Senator McConnell goes on this e-mail.

SK
$10
Seth Kirk
9 days ago
2
2

I really Hope Mitch McConnell Searched for Turtle Porn

MP
$20
Matthew Piontkowski
10 days ago
1
1
Jerry Maya
1 month ago

Reach out to LastWeekTonight. This seems like something they would support.

+ Read More
Tracy Norton
1 month ago

Message me on Facebook or Twitter (@millennialprof). I have a team of lawyers and writers ready to help.

+ Read More
Dusty Gutierrez
1 month ago

Love this. Would like to donate. Would just like to know what your plans are for the money you raise if your endeavors are not able to be brought to fruition? Donate; which causes?

+ Read More
Travis Ploeger
1 month ago

1) please keep updating your progress. 2) if for some reason, you aren't able to achieve the stated mission, what happens to the raised funds? 3) please limit your searches to those who voted FOR the bill? Why punish those who did the right thing?

+ Read More
Mark Kordick
1 month ago

I agree with Dusty Gutierrez. You need a public backup plan for excess or unused donations. Might I respectfully suggest the the Electronic Frontier Foundation? https://www.eff.org/ (Full disclosure: Not associated with the EFF - just a supporter.)

+ Read More
Daniel A. Stimler
1 month ago

They didn't take our families into consideration when they passed this bill, neither should we.

+ Read More
Kersti Ahven
1 month ago

Skepticism is healthy. Questions are healthy Civil discussion and action in this age of Trump is needed! If for no other reason, the incredible response to this crowdfunding is sending a powerful collective message , worth much more than my $10. It's about time that those on corporate and legislative WELFARE got a taste of their own nasty medicine. I am probably going to continue to contribute more for those who cannot. For a New Citizens United! I'm almost 70 and have never been as ashamed and angry at Congress in my life. I'm mad as hell and not going to it any more

+ Read More
Andrew Crosson
1 month ago

I will donate if you post information on what happens to the money if you don't raise enough, and more details on how exactly you'll purchase the history. I want to make sure you're not just enriching yourself... if you can convince me, I will DEFINITELY donate!

+ Read More
Barbara Wood Halaburt
1 month ago

I would like to suggest that any unused funds be donated to the ACLU Privacy and Technology division. They are also advocating for individuals right to internet privacy. https://www.aclu.org/issues/privacy-technology

+ Read More
Myron Destructowitz
1 month ago

Forty six thousand dollars collected, and no plan presented on exactly how you intend to obtain this data. There is no plausible way to just legally ask for somebody's search history BY NAME. Despite the House's actions, there are still prevailing privacy laws in other areas that prevent this scenario from being plausible. Not to mention other issues that would run afoul of contract law, let alone individual protections. I know the house vote on the FCC angered us, but this hasn't been thought through and your communications make it apparent. And who are you buying this from? Google? Facebook? How do you suppose it's priced? Is there a price sheet or is it a contract negotiation? It could be that you made this half-baked proposal and people responded to it with emotion and now you're in over your head. Do the right thing. You were given 46k (so far). You have every right to maybe take a tiny bit out for your own effort. But the majority of this is preying off of people's misplaced aspirations. You'd do well to find some worthy causes to put the money towards that benefit the public interest. I'd hate to hear several months down the line that you just spent it all. That's really bad juju and it will haunt your future if you let that happen.

+ Read More
Jennifer Lurani Evans
1 month ago

I see that there are a couple of other sites and efforts such as this - I hope you will consider joining forces. Thanks for your creative action. Jennifer

+ Read More
Kate MacRoss
1 month ago

Please provide information regarding: 1) Specifically how the money will be spent; 2) Where the information will be published; 3) If you are combining efforts with other groups; and 4) How any funds over your goal will be spent. Thank you!

+ Read More
Nancy Jackson
1 month ago

I vote for Mitch McConnell -- get his browser history out there stat! Agree with others: if you are unable to achieve the goal please do come up with a good resister alternative. And please be transparent about which way the whole thing goes. We're behind you on this!

+ Read More
Jayann Chipman
1 month ago

Misha Collins is doing this as well. You guys should join forces!! Also, he probably has good plans for the money if it doesn't come to fruition, he has some great charitable organizations of his own. His campaign is called "Buy Congress' Internet Data." You should check it out.

+ Read More
Bill Bayer
1 month ago

Sen Jeff Flake was the sponsor of the bill, IMHO, he should be first. Then the higher profile the better, and I'd include trump, bannon, etc... in that list.

+ Read More
Paula Cusumano DeRoo
1 month ago

I donated $10 and if nothing comes from it, at the very least it'll send a message to lawmakers - we're NOT GOING AWAY. And I guarantee you, I've wasted 10 bucks on worse things, if that ends up being the case!

+ Read More
Myron Destructowitz
1 month ago

Please stop giving this man money. He has no idea what he's talking about and no plan. Think critically about this so called proposal, and how that might even begin to work. You'll quickly realize the whole premise is farcical. At a minimum, consider Cards Against Humanity just pledged to do this without collecting a dime of your money. No doubt because they too realize this is an absolutely unquantifiable, unachievable goal and you shouldn't give out your money to strangers who make outrageous claims that have no follow through because they're unquantifiable and unachievable objectives. Christ, this makes Kony 2012 look respectable.

+ Read More
Myron Destructowitz
1 month ago

Folks, there's no need for this campaign anymore. Cards against Humanity offered to do it for free. Get your refund before this guy spends it. Instructions on how to get your refund are on GoFundMe's Help Center Page.

+ Read More
Christopher Landress
1 month ago

You're making a LOT of assumptions without having actually read the bill in its entirety. The internet companies are under ZERO obligation to sell a specific individual's search history. Furthermore, it does not limit the internet company's liability for selling said data, so the provider sis still on the hook if they sell a persons identity to a stalker or murderer. You're taking advantage of peoples outrage.

+ Read More
Jim Boegman
1 month ago

Might want to consider combining with the gofundme BuyCongressData

+ Read More
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