Representative Lamar Smith(R-TX-21) recently introduced a bill called the “Internet Stopping Adults Facilitating the Exploitation of Today’s Youth Act (SAFETY) of 2007” which on the surface seems like a nice idea. Trouble is, it will give ISPs an opportunity(or requirement) to jack up the prices they offer to consumers due to this section:
Sec. 6. Record Retention Requirements For Internet Service Providers.
(a) Regulations- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this section, the Attorney General shall issue regulations governing the retention of records by Internet Service Providers. Such regulations shall, at a minimum, require retention of records, such as the name and address of the subscriber or registered user to whom an Internet Protocol address, user identification or telephone number was assigned, in order to permit compliance with court orders that may require production of such information.
From the perspective of the ISP, this will be a nightmare. The volume of information the ISPs will be required to hold is massive. They will also have to keep at the ready tools to parse this information. While the technical aspect of parsing these logs is not that much of an issue, it would take time for employees to do. The additional disk space required to hold the logs and the threat of the time sink brought about by any subpoena, however frivolous, will all mean higher prices for consumers. I think this could fall under the heading of “sharing the guilt”.
From the consumer perspective, we all value our privacy. While it’s true that the animals who prey on children do not deserve the right of privacy on any level(having surrendered that right the first time they touched a child), forcing the non-pedophiles among us to surrender their privacy because of the actions of a few pieces of human trash is wrong. My activities, whether online or out there in the brick and mortar world, are private. If I want to share with the world what I do, that’s my business. Why should the law abiding folks be punished for the law breakers activities? The Internet isn’t the cause of this particular perversion. To twist up an cliche’, The Internet doesn’t abuse children, People abuse children.
Contact your Congresscritter and suggest that they oppose this horrendous waste of time.