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Losing the Internet Generation

Texas Republicans need to stop this crap:

“While the Internet has generated many positive changes in the way we communicate and do business, its limitless nature offers anonymity that has opened the door to criminals looking to harm innocent children,” U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said at a press conference on Thursday. “Keeping our children safe requires cooperation on the local, state, federal, and family level.”

Joining Cornyn was Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the senior Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who said such a measure would let “law enforcement stay ahead of the criminals.”

Two bills have been introduced so far–S.436 in the Senate and H.R.1076 in the House. Each of the companion bills is titled “Internet Stopping Adults Facilitating the Exploitation of Today’s Youth Act,” or Internet Safety Act.

Each contains the same language: “A provider of an electronic communication service or remote computing service shall retain for a period of at least two years all records or other information pertaining to the identity of a user of a temporarily assigned network address the service assigns to that user.”

Technologically, that’s next to impossible to enforce, since user information is not currently built into any of the technologies.  It would require businesses and providers to add an extra layer of authentication onto their networks.  In other words, this is an IT nightmare of epic proportions, not even mentioning the civil liberties implications.  Republicans have been driving educated voters from their party in hoards, and it’s especially true in the Philadelphia Suburbs, which even a decade ago was considered a Republican stronghold.  Measures like this is part of the reason why.  I believe the Texas delegation ought to seriously rethink the implications of this bill on the party as a whole.

Kiddie Porn is becoming the new drug war.  There’s no civil liberty or aspect of commerce that where federal meddling can’t be justified in order to stamp it out.  Next time Steele comes soliciting for funds, I might have to send a copy of this bill back in the envelope with “no thanks” written on it.

Hat Tip to War on Guns for the link.

6 Responses to “Losing the Internet Generation”

  1. Rob K says:

    Is everybody else as sick of the stupid backronyming of these acts as I am? “Internet Stopping Adults Facilitating the Exploitation of Today’s Youth Act,” or Internet Safety Act. That is insultingly stupid.

  2. Borepatch says:

    Hey, how about we make everyone in the country into felons?

    Grandma won’t have any trouble getting reliable logging/2-year-archiving set up. I’m sure she’ll get to it right after she turns on WEP.

    And it’s *Republicans* pulling this “for the children” idiocy. Sheesh.

  3. Mike123 says:

    Remember the internet betting ban enacted just before the election in ’06? You remember the election where Republicans got shallacked, the first time.

  4. Georg Felis says:

    They can have my wireless Cisco router when they pry it from my cold hands.

  5. Link says:

    Rule of thumb: If it’s so weak it has to rely on “think of the children” to pass, it should never be law!

    This proposal is so technologically and economically ignorant, that it is beyond absurd. Once you factor in the the threat to civil liberties, it is obvious that anyone endorsing this idiocy needs a permanent career reassignment far, far, away from politics, and taxpayer money.

  6. snoopycomputer says:

    Years back, there was talk of having a .sex or .xxx or special domain in which ponr could be regulated into, so that network equipment would have an easier time at filtering that stuff out. It failed- mostly because of ID-10-T errors.

    Why don’t they look at it backward and establish a .kid domain for children? That way, we can still filter out crap, just do it reverse- blacklist all except for .kid? Have it be a domain that requires strict regulation, much like how .gov domains are regulated.
    Schools could filter all domains except for .kid (which would have NO MySpace, facebook, etc access- just websites proven to be educationally useful)
    Commercial enterprises like Disney and the like would pay extra to be certified to run a .kid domain. So, no extra rules, no extra restrictions, no money needed to enforce some new law, just a new domain that creates more money and opportunity.

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