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If Congress wants to put your browser history up for sale, why not buy theirs first?

The 'Supernatural' actor launches a fundraising effort in the name of online privacy.

If Congress wants to put your browser history up for sale, why not buy theirs first?

Misha Collins needs to raise half a billion dollars.

Or, at least, that's what the "Supernatural" actor (and former White House intern) figures he'll need in order to purchase the internet browsing data of every member of Congress who voted for a bill that — get this — makes selling people's internet browsing data completely legal without having to get anyone's permission. Wild, isn't it?

And while being a popular actor with steady work in TV and film probably helps pay the bills, $500 million is likely juuust a bit out of Collins' price range. So he did what many people in a financial crunch do: He started a GoFundMe campaign.


Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images.

Collins' logic is pretty sound: If Congress wants to turn our privacy into something that can be bought, we the people can make a point by banding together to buy their privacy.

The bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday (and is expected to be signed by President Trump), allows internet service providers (ISPs) like Comcast, Verizon, or Time Warner, to collect and sell customers' data to anyone without their permission. That means that everything ranging from your location to your browsing history (which might include your medical, personal, and financial history) can be packaged up and sold off — and there's nothing you can do about it.

The bill overturns a Federal Communications Commission rule put in place at the end of 2016 designed to stop ISPs from doing just that. The rule, which hadn't gone into effect, was a big win for people who, you know, don't like having their personal info sold to advertisers without their permission. Rolling it back is a big win for ... well, not those people.

Photo by Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images; photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SiriusXM.

"Game on, Congress," Collins taunts on his GoFundMe page.

In the event that Collins is able to raise enough money to purchase Congress' data, he would use it for (mostly) good, adding that he would never share information that would affect someone's safety and security.

But other than that? Well, that's a different story. "All other details are fair game," Collins wrote.

In the rather likely event the campaign doesn't hit the $500 million goal, Collins is going to donate whatever money the page brings in to the American Civil Liberties Union to help fund the fight for the rights of all Americans — including the right to internet privacy.

Of course, there are other ways you can get involved in the fight, such as signing onto the ACLU's petition or donating to them directly. Other organizations worth consideration include the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Democracy & Technology.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.