I guess the ‘You Are All Criminals Act’ didn’t have the same ring

If you thought it was the height of cynicism when legislators dubbed a massive expansion of government surveillance power the “USA Patriot Act” (recently extended—really!—under the heading of small business legislation), feast your eyes upon the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011, on which the House Judiciary Committee is slated to hold a hearing next Tuesday. What kind of monster would dare be on the record opposing that bill?  As you may have already guessed, the handful of provisions in the bill that really deal specifically with child porn are a fig leaf for its true purpose: A sweeping data retention requirement meant to turn Internet Service Providers and online companies into surrogate snoops for the government’s convenience. Any provider of an “electronic communication” or “remote computing” service—meaning broadband providers like Comcast, but also companies like Google—would have to retain records of the “temporarily assigned network address” (such as an IP address) associated with each account for 18 months.  Read more at



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