Warehouse D
Recording Every Word
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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 on line.


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.