Colorado progressive group wants to purchase, reveal Cory Gardner’s internet browsing history

Author: Ernest Luning - March 30, 2017 - Updated: March 30, 2017

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner celebrates GOP unity on July 9, 2016, at Jefferson County Republican hedquarters in Lakewood. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner celebrates GOP unity on July 9, 2016, at Jefferson County Republican hedquarters in Lakewood. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)

ProgressNow Colorado says it plans to buy U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s internet browsing history once it goes on the market and share it with the public in response to the Yuma Republican’s vote last week to allow internet service providers to sell customers’ data without their permission.

The progressive advocacy organization said in an email to supporters Thursday that it also plans to shop for internet data generated by U.S. Reps. Scott Tipton, Doug Lamborn and Ken Buck, three other Colorado Republicans who voted in favor of legislation to overturn consumer privacy rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission in the final months of the Obama administration.

“They want to sell off our right to privacy? That means theirs is up for grabs, too,” writes Ian Silverii, ProgressNow Colorado’s executive director, in a fundraising email, which asks for contributions to help cover the costs.

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, an Aurora Republican, was one of only 15 House Republicans to vote against Senate Joint Resolution 34, which passed the House Tuesday without support from any Democrats.

“I believe the privacy of my constituents, and other internet users, is an issue where the government needs to tread very carefully,” Coffman said in a statement after the vote. “I do not believe we should permit private corporations to take advantage of our information for their use and profit.” Declaring that the right to privacy is embedded in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, Coffman added that he “chose to oppose the resolution as a reaffirmation in my belief in our founding document.”

The Senate approved the legislation a week ago on a 50-48 party-line vote, with every Democrat voting against it.

The resolution is headed to President Donald Trump’s desk, and the White House said Wednesday that Trump plans to sign it, Reuters reported.

The rules would have prevented internet service providers from sharing or selling without permission a trove of information gathered from customers, including health and financial information, web browsing and search histories and data about app use. The rules also would have required ISPs to notify customers in the event of a data breach. Lawmakers are invoking the rarely-used Congressional Review Act to undo the rules.

Silverii points to campaign finance data showing that Gardner reaped more than $95,000 from the telecommunications industry for his most recent campaign — Buck took in $15,750, Lamborn hauled in $28,400 and Tipton banked $23,500 — and draws a connection to the vote.

“If big telecom corporations are going to get in the business of selling our personal data and browsing history to the highest bidder because of what Cory Gardner and Donald Trump are pushing, then we’re going to get into the business of becoming the highest bidder for those Colorado Republicans who sold us out for campaign contributions,” Silverii told The Colorado Statesman.

Silverii acknowledged that it’s too early to know whether individual browsing histories and other consumer data will be readily available or what price the info might command but suggested the organization should be able to handle it.

“The response to our appeal so far leads me to believe that we’ll be able to afford Gardner, Buck, Lamborn and Tipton’s data,” he said.



Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. Since 2009, he has been the senior political reporter and occasional editor for The Colorado Statesman.


  • Jack Clancy

    March 31, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Can’t wait to see Rape Whistle joe’s.

    This is going to be fun. Can Republicans be this dumb? Apparently so.


  • Harvey S

    March 31, 2017 at 8:26 am

    I am ready to help fund this effort!


    • H. Duncan

      April 17, 2017 at 7:59 pm

      I am willing to fund this effort too. While funding it, let’s all switched to vpn as well to stay protected. I got Astrill for my protection.


  • Russell

    March 31, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Statistics show that liberals are more likely to engage in pornography online than conservatives. Of course, if any man was married to a liberal women, he would look for other venues of pleasure. Liberal women are some of the ugliest out there.


  • Roxanne Paine

    March 31, 2017 at 10:14 am

    I too look forward to this… INCLUDING BENNET!! what is good for the goose is good for the gander!


  • Bob Gray

    March 31, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Cory Gardner isn’t intelligent enough to have anything of interest in his internet history. That said, I hope they buy his “work” internet history, because I’d like to see if he’s actually done any work. He looks like he spends his days watching YouTube videos


  • MoreFreedom

    April 2, 2017 at 11:11 am

    This is just a stunt. No internet service provider will sell an individual’s browsing history, because they’d lose money. Why don’t they try and buy Gardner’s Google search history? Google is already selling search histories. The law just makes it an even playing field.

    These companies just sell this stuff in bulk combining multiple users’ searches, or browsing histories. If they violated individuals privacy like alleged, they’d soon lose all their customers.


  • Liber-al/tarian

    April 26, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    So…one month later & we have not heard boo from the folks trying to buy search histories. Hey Progress Now & Ian Siverii, had any luck? How about the money that went into Kickstarter accounts that promised they would go buy the browser histories of our elected officials? Just another example of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” hyperbole machine trying to create another boogie man to raise money against. I am 1,000,000% percent opposed to the sale of my private browser history.


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