Ozark, Alabama (DCE)- In a vein of tyranny that would make dictators such as Mao and Hitler proud, the House Judiciary committee has approved H.R. 1981 by a margin of 19-10.
The “Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011” bill demands internet providers must assign all their customers temporary IP addresses which they must store. The bill also requires the providers to share this information with the federal government and law enforcement agencies.
Last minute changes to the legislation yesterday means that providers will also include the storing of customers’ names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers and bank account numbers. Declan McCulluagh of Cnet reported the panel rejected an amendment that would have clarified that only IP addresses must be stored.
“The bill is mislabeled,” said Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the senior Democrat on the panel. “This is not protecting children from Internet pornography. It’s creating a database for everybody in this country for a lot of other purposes.”
It represents “a data bank of every digital act by every American” that would “let us find out where every single American visited Web sites,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who led Democratic opposition to the bill. The Californian Representative described the legislation as a “mess of a bill” and a “stalking horse for a massive expansion of federal power.”
“This is not about child porn. It never has been and never will be,” Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said. “This is a convenient way for law enforcement to get what they couldn’t get in the PATRIOT Act.” Issa noted that the bill would open a Pandora’s box of government abuse.
Advocates for the legislation include the National Sheriffs’ Association, which “strongly supports” mandatory data retention. Other organizations that support the bill are the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the FBI.
In a final effort to derail the bill, the ACLU, with dozens of privacy watchdog groups, wrote a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith earlier this week, noting that “any data retention mandate is a direct assault on bedrock privacy principles.”
Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston of Electronic Frontier Foundation said,
“The data retention mandate in this bill would treat every Internet user like a criminal and threaten the online privacy and free speech rights of every American, as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have recognized.”
“Requiring Internet companies to redesign and reconfigure their systems to facilitate government surveillance of Americans’ expressive activities is simply un-American. Such a scheme would be as objectionable to our Founders as the requiring of licenses for printing presses or the banning of anonymous pamphlets.”
In an interview with Bloomberg Greg Hojeim, senior counsel for the Washington based Center for Democracy and Technology said,
“This is China-style law enforcement, treating everyone as a potential suspect and requiring the collection of personal information just in case it might later be useful to the government.”
By requiring the retention of sensitive data, which will no doubt eventually end up in a government database, Americans information will become more vulnerable to hackers. Take for example the LulzSec group which recently claimed responsibility for the temporary shutting down of a CIA website and other very high profile hacks.
It‘s been said that minimizing stored user data gives less incentives for hackers to steal data. Common sense tells us with a minimum of data to steal the less likely hackers will try to do so. This will also reduce any potential damage done to these databases through theft.
It is also possible that law enforcement agencies could use this data in cases unrelated to child pornography. It would seem that any data that is retained could be accessible to police investigating any crime. Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center said,
“Although this data retention requirement has been introduced as part of a bill focused on child sexual exploitation, there is no evidence to suggest that the majority of law enforcement requests for customer subscriber information relate to child protection cases.”
It’s also said this bill could allow access by attorneys in any and all civil disputes that have absolutely nothing to do with protecting children on the internet.
Rotenberg also said that,
“It would give the government sweeping authority to mandate the collection and retention of personal information obtained by business from their customers, or generated by the business in the course of providing services, for subsequent examination without any reason to believe that information is relevant or necessary for a criminal investigation.”
Rep. Bobby Scott, D-VA proposed an amendment to H.R. 1981 that would have limited any use of this data to only child-pornography or terrorism cases. The amendment was withdrawn due to objections that limiting the use of this information to child-porn cases could “undermine current cases on other issues” as noted by Lamar Smith.
Scott also attempted to add another amendment that was really aimed at cracking down on peddlers of child porn. The amendment was to allocate $45 million a year to pay for 200 additional investigators and prosecutors dedicated solely to cases involving child porn. This amendment was struck down by committee members claiming there were not enough funds available.
It’s fairly obvious to this Examiner that if indeed this bill was intended to protect our children then more things would have been included in this bill along the line of Rep Scott’s amendments.
Our leaders continue to thumb their noses at the American people by passing tyrannical legislation with the underlying intentions of stripping more of our Constitutional rights. If our leaders truly cared about the American people they would ensure that bills were carefully worded so there was no potential for abuse.
This Examiner fails to understand how the recording of personal information such as our bank account numbers will protect children from internet pornography.
The word of God talks about men who are full of integrity and honesty it says in Psalm 37:37 (KJV) mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. God thinks highly of the upright person and they have no need for the approval of men.
The word upright in Psalm 37:37 means to be of a plain heart, without collusion or double-dealing. There are no workings of deceit within that man nor does he try to achieve gain through subterfuge. The leaders of today need to follow examples of men like George Washington, if we had more men like him our nation might not be in the dilemma we are in today.