INTERNET PRIVACY THREATENED

14. February 2007, 17:05 | by WD Milner | Full Article |

It looks like at least some members of the United States of America government want to complete the slide into a Orwellian state with afterburners blazing.

A bill introduced to the US House of Representatives would require Internet service providers to record all users’ surfing activity, IM conversations and e-mail traffic continuously and store it indefinitely.

The bill, dubbed the Safety Act by its sponsor Congressman Lamar Smith (Republican-Texas) would impose fines and a prison term of one year on those service providers which failed to keep full records.

The bill includes a separate clause that would force the owners of sexually explicit websites to include warning labels on their web pages, or face jail. Also included is a 20-year “jail tariff” for anyone ordering child pornography that crosses state borders, with a $150,000 USD fine for the provider that allowed the transaction to take place.

Congressman Smith commented, “A crime is still a crime, whether it occurs on the street or on the internet. ... In this age of increasing digital and technological sophistication, cyber-crimes and cyber-terrorism pose a serious threat to the US. Law enforcement and the private sector must be prepared to deal with these crimes.”

As civil rights and privacy get eroded more every day this just puts the final invasive nail in coffin as it would see all, even the most innocuous, converstions and personal correspondence captured and stored forever. And we all know how secure such data warehouses can be . . . right?!? To say nothing of the technical and financial impracticality of such a scheme. I wonder when the US Postal Service will start opening and photocopying mail?

It also has implications for more than just those who live in the Untied States as a great deal of traffic is routed through or hosted on systems in the United States. It is safe to assume that this traffic would be (if it isn’t already) captured and warehoused as well.

Maybe it’s time for Internet 3.0, one that is open and sane like the early days of the Internet when it was used mostly by academics and western governments, especially that of the United States, weren’t trying to emulate the USSR of Stalin.

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Categories: ,
Keywords: privacy,crime,pornography,porn,monitoring,republican,senator,US,internet

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