Egad! Another Internet Spy Bill Is In The Works
By James Donahue
Texas republican legislator Lamar Smith appears bent on doing everything possible
to destroy the Internet freedom in the United States. In addition to his dreaded Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) that last month
brought a black-out protest by many popular websites and may still linger in the wing for possible action, his new creation
is called Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act.”
Like all evil legislative movements, the names of these bills sound like something
we might all support. But the devil is in the details.
As with SOPA, which would give the government the power to suspend or lock the domain
name of websites accused of infringing on copyright material, the Protecting Children act is laced with trouble.
The latter bill would be a dirct assault on the privacy of Internet users. It would
require Internet companies to log all network addresses that use their sites for up to one year. IP addresses directly link
users to their online activity and can reveal a lot of personal information by looking at what is viewed, purchased and stated
As Internet magazine editor Ernest Stewart explained in a recent editorial: “They
want to force Internet service providers to keep track of and retain their customers’ information – including
your name, address, phone number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, temporarily-assigned IP addresses; and the address
of every web site that you visit for at least a year. ISPs would be forced to collect and retain your data, whether or ot
you’re accused of a crime. And forced to do so at great expense.”
Blogger Scottie Thomaston in a recent review that appeared on Daily Kos, wrote that
the bill would “treat every internet user like a criminal and threaten the online privacy and free speech rights of
every American. The bill goes far beyond SOPA/PIPA.”
Worst of all, this bill does nothing to protect children from Internet pornography.
Internet providers are getting tired of fighting the constant Republican attacks
on individual freedoms. Texas voters in the 21st District need to do everybody a favor and replace Congressman
Smith before this guy causes damage that cannot be undone.