Have you heard about H.R. 1981: The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011? If not, listen up, because this is a very important bill that is quietly making it’s way through approval as I type. With a name like that, who would possibly oppose, everyone wants to keep children safe. The only problem is that this act encompasses much more than child pornography, it encompasses everyone’s ENTIRE internet privacy.
Under this act, every ISP would be required to track everyone’s online activity including your name, address, phone number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and temporarily-assigned IP addresses, and save it for a minimum of 18 months. So basically, the government would be assuming that everyone is a criminal and they are just waiting for you to break the law. The equivalent of this bill is the government having someone follow you everywhere, everyday of you life and record it just in case one day you decide to rob a bank, or kill someone. Could you imagine???
California Rep. Zoe Lofgren’s recently proposed to rename the act “Keep Every American’s Digital Data for Submission to the Federal Government Without a Warrant Act of 2011.”
Why rename it that? Well Rep. Lofgren’s new title explains it all, once the ISP has your entire online footprint saved, all it takes for that information to be subpoenaed is an inkling that you have done something wrong. You don’t have to be under investigation for child pornography charges, simply being suspected is enough.
Which brings up another skeptical situation, what if you are undergoing a child custody battle, or a divorce, or anything?! Yup, your history can be subpenaed and you know how? No warrant is necessary, all they have to do is ASK. No probable cause is necessary, nice.
This act has successfully made its way through the House Judiciary Committee and it’s next stop is a vote by the House. You can track the status of the act here.
What can you do? If you oppose this legislation, you can go to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and fill out an easy form to contact your state representative.
So, do you agree or disagree with the legislation? Leave your comments below!