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Thread: Next Great Battle For the Soul of the Internet Could be Very Soon: H.R. 1981

  1. Editor in Chief
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    Next Great Battle For the Soul of the Internet Could be Very Soon: H.R. 1981


    We barely saved the internet from a nightmare catastrophe in the form of SOPA, and now it looks like there is another more insidious bill being proposed by none other than Senator Lamar Smith (R), the same fellow who proposed SOPA. This one is titled H.R. 1981, and from the surface it looks innocent enough, and even a worthy cause... nabbing scum-bag child pornographers. The bill is called “Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011," which is definitely a goal just about anyone can get behind. Unfortunately, the particular wording behind this one tries to hide some ridiculous abuse of personal rights, and disguise it as a means to protect the innocent.

    The problem with this bill, is that its current wording would "require Internet service providers to capture credit card data, bank statements, IP information and search history from every user and keep it on hand for 18 months." Of course, to try and placate the obvious and immediate response that most people will have about this massive breach of privacy, they did add into the bill that those ISP's should keep that information stored "in a safe place." Obviously, this doesn't really do anything to mitigate the fact that this information is basically stolen from the user. The intention of the law is to be able to keep tabs on potential child pornographers and prosecute them "after-the-fact" so that even if they destroyed any incriminating evidence on their own personal computer, there would still be backup proof of the offense. Also, under this bill, the US Government would have access to that data without a warrant, so yes indeed it gets worse.

    Of course, it becomes painfully obvious of the numerous reasons why this is such a bad piece of legislation. First, it really does nothing to combat child pornography, but instead effectively watches everyone, regardless if they have done something wrong. Talk about "Big Brother"... And, this wouldn't really deter or successfully catch child pornographers anyway, because their info would simply be hidden amongst a "pile" of millions of other bits of data, and most child-pornographers don't ever use their own home internet anyway.

    In fact, one of the first things this bill would do would be to effectively annihilate Internet commerce, because who is going to want to make purchases online when they know that all their banking and credit card information will be stored for anyone with "authorization" to snoop through. Of course, there is the whole other stupid part of requiring the ISP's to "store the information securely", because, of course, no company out in the world ever gets hacked, right? I am looking at you Sony, ComCast, etc. With this bill, the number of ways for your information to be stolen by hackers goes up dramatically.

    Sadly, this bill exists because many of our "representatives" in Congress, regardless of party, (especially folks like Lamar Smith), are so out of touch with today's technology that they simply do not comprehend what they are doing when proposing these thermonuclear style laws. Luckily, this bill has not come up for a vote yet, but surprisingly (or not surprisingly) it did pass its initial committee. Ironically, there was a bill similar to this brought forward in the past, called the Child Online Protection Act, which was blocked by the Supreme Court, and this bill is actually worse than that one!

    Make no mistake, fighting child porn is a noble cause, but this brute-force style approach is not only an attack on the soul of the Internet, but an attack on the Constitution as well. We need to look at realistic solutions using advancements in technology. Dragging our civil liberties through a meat-grinder makes you wonder how on earth people like Lamar Smith got elected to begin with.

    Source: SlashGear
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  3. Master Droid
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    after this one fails to pass they should name the next one "Put an End to Puppy Killings Act of 2012"

    this reminds me of the old bugs bunny cartoons where he dresses up like a pretty woman to trick elmer fudd.
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    Don't need to be Einstein to know that opponents of the bill will be labeled as "hating children" (if not outright condoning molestation), which of course is why that wording is in there, no matter what it actually does do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by catnapped View Post
    Don't need to be Einstein to know that opponents of the bill will be labeled as "hating children" (if not outright condoning molestation), which of course is why that wording is in there, no matter what it actually does do.
    Which is why we have to educate the general public like we did with SOPA/PIPA. Sure, there is the right cause, just the wrong method and this is one of those. We need to get the people of Lamar Smith's state to vote him out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SupAll View Post
    Which is why we have to educate the general public like we did with SOPA/PIPA. Sure, there is the right cause, just the wrong method and this is one of those. We need to get the people of Lamar Smith's state to vote him out.
    ^This.

    I think we need to be very careful of "red herrings" -- it's pretty obvious that HR 1891 is not the real goal -- it's a smoke-screen. We all get worked up and furious about a law we know has 0% chance of passing, and if it doesn't get protested in the same way as the previous ones, what happens is it's negotiated down to what the "opposition" actually wants. It's called "hi-balling" -- come in with a ridiculous first offer and then look like a reasonable guy as you "lower" your demands. It's a pretty effective psychological tool, and I hope we don't fall for it.

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    Agreed 100% with everyone in this thread. I think the government is just flexing its bureaucratic muscle. Taking down megaupload was just a way for the government to show the public that they don't need a legislative bill or some law to control the internet. I still think we should continue to voice our opinions loudly, it's our duty as Americans. The government will buckle to pressure again.

    We can't let the movie/music industries to try and stifle creativity. This is essentially what this whole mess is about, it's pretty obvious that certain politicians have been bought out and they no longer look out for the interest of the American public. We need to vote them out.
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    God bless America...says the overly sarcastic agnostic.
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    Maybe it is just about raising lobbying money from more companies! Introduce a hair brain bill, collect lobbying money and then let the bill die! Internet groups must not have been paying up to their standards. Read "Throw them all out"! Chris

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    99% of all these bills are a bill to take away freedoms in the disguise of safety. Remember anyone who gives up liberty for safety deserves neither liberty nor safety.

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