by Dan Gibson
Something I will never think is a good idea: requiring internet service providers to keep track of everything anyone visits online and keeping those records for a year.
Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee voted 19-10 for H.R. 1981, a data-retention bill that will require your ISP to spy on everything you do online and save records of it for 12 months. California Rep Zoe Lofgren, one of the Democrats who opposed the bill, called it a “data bank of every digital act by every American” that would “let us find out where every single American visited Web sites.”
Sure, the title makes the bill sound like something no reasonable person would oppose ("Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011"), but is creating an insane information police state regarding the internet the best way to keep porn away from children? If anyone thinks this database would only be used to fight child pornography, they're insane (RIAA, anyone?) I think I'd prefer law enforcement agencies get a warrant before snooping through my browsing history, but thanks anyway.
In Arizona news, both Arizonan members of the committee, Trent Franks (R) and Ben Quayle (R) voted to move the bill out of committee. You'd think Quayle would be sensitive to privacy issues concerned online behavior, but I guess he's moved on from the stage of his life.
For more information about this terrible, terrible proposal, visit the Electronic Frontier Foundation's site.