Highest Rated Comments

mfworks1325 karma

While the types of porn our representatives are watching is definitely entertaining, the real value from getting our plugin on porn sites(and we have it currently tracking on a few) is seeing if Congress or the White House is accessing porn while on the job at all.

Also, our goal isn't to "out" anyone for their sexual preferences-- however it would be interesting to see if their are distinct trends between Congress vs. The White House vs. FCC vs. the public at large, the last comparison of which is something really only the sites that are currently using our plugin can answer.

mfworks1039 karma

Where we see the largest value for our tool(beyond its efficacy as political protest) is if we can get it on a large swatch of online news site. It would be interesting to see where swaths of representatives are getting their news: How many get everything from Breitbart/Infowars? How many from Mother Jones, or the Young Turks? We can also use referral headers to track whether people are following specific sites, or if they just read what pops up on, for example, their facebook feed

mfworks967 karma

Also, just because interns exist doesn't mean reps are immune from tracking. The irony here is that the ISP privacy law was based on the legal argument that ISPs are not utilities, and so are exempt from regulations that apply to utility companies.

If that's so, then congress should be able to work around having to use the internet (and being tracked on it) in the same way they expect us to, and not have it impact their job.

If they can't, then it's a pretty clear indication that ISPs are providing a public utility, and should have to safeguard our data in the same way utilities do.

mfworks619 karma

However, to answer your question: What qualifies as 'interesting' will vary depending upon who we are talking to. Obviously, the most eye-catching data we can grab is porn habits or other "embarrassing details," so to speak. However, from a political or legislative position, that data isn't all that informative.

I am most interested in putting the tool on news sites, as I mentioned above: We would be able to see where politicians are getting their news, and potentially how that informs the actions of our federal government as a whole.

On a more voyeuristic note, it would also be really cool to get it on social media sites like facebook, and a ton of forums and blogs, to try to paint a picture of what kinds of things our representatives do in their free time. Do they like fishing? Do they play church league basketball? It would be cool to see how politicians manage their leisure time and who are in the personal circles of the most powerful people in the country.

mfworks510 karma

Right now we are focused on testing the technical aspects of our tool and data management pipeline. We are trying to hit the sweet spot of a few different targets before we release it to the public: 1. The tracking code installation needs to be as simple as possible. We want to keep it to a piece of javascript code you can drop in to your frontend, with no server-side dev.

  1. It needs to be robust enough that it can't easily be disabled. This actually conflicts with our client-side only goals, because the more we allow for server-side implementation, the more it can circumvent methods to disable it.

  2. It needs to leave as minimal a privacy footprint as possible. We want to avoid sucking in any non-government data, and that means putting a lot of code in the tool that makes it bulkier and more vulnerable to disabling.