New Internet Surveillance Bill Attracts Media Attention After SOPA

Coming closely on the heels of the downfall of SOPA is another bill which might have some serious implications of the privacy of Internet users. We have heard that SOPA author Lamar Smith is sponsoring another bill called the ‘Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011″ (H.R. 1981). This bill is by no means recent as it was pushed through US House Judiciary Committee on July 28th, 2011 by a 19-10 vote. The bill was missed by the media and the general public because of many other stories, SOPA and PIPA being more prominent ones.

Now this bill has come to the attention of Netizens and facing strong protests. Let us get deeper into the bill and see why.

 The bill intends to make an alteration to U.S. code Chapter 18 section 2703, titled ‘Required Disclosure of Customer Communications or Records’ and make it such that all ISP would need to mandatory store your IP address for a minimum of 12 months along with other personal information like Credit card data.

 Something is not right here!

The bill is to enforce a ban on Child Pornography and get all related Internet services to stop. This is a noble goal and child pornography is definitely a bad thing, but ends do not really justify the means. IP addresses are the virtual identifiers of any device that is connected to the Internet. ISPs keeping your IP address for 12 months is a scary prospect. The bill also exonerates ISP from any liabilities and makes your information available to any government agency. Big Brother anyone? The bill is getting media attention now because it breaches constitutional privacy.

The bill treats all Internet users as ‘unregistered sex offenders until proven otherwise’.

 We strongly believe in privacy on the Internet and while we support the initiatives against Child Pornography we do not advocate that an individual’s right to privacy be breached. There simply has to be a better solution. Lamar Smith’s sponsorship of both SOPA and this new act is making us doubt whether that man understands the Internet as a concept. Attack Child pornography services and networks, don’t attack the average Internet user! I am sure there will be SOPA- like boycotts and Internet activism against this bill.

 What do you think about this new bill? Share your thoughts with us.

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