This is the kind of bipartisanism that I can do without: increased surveillance on American citizens online.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports:
Despite serious privacy concerns being voiced by both Democratic and Republican leaders and by thousands of digital rights activists using EFFs Action Center, this afternoon the House Judiciary Committee voted 19 to 10 to recommend passage of H.R. 1981. That bill contains a mandatory data retention provision that would require your Internet service providers to retain 12 months worth of personal information that could be used to identify what web sites you visit and what content you post online. EFF had previously joined with 29 other civil liberties and consumer privacy groups in signing a letter to the Committee members that condemned the bill as a “direct assault on the privacy of Internet users.”
The so-called Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 is the kind of rhetorical nonsense that has very little to do with protecting children and very much to do with unfettered surveillance of all American citizens online. If passed into law, it would require “commercial” ISPs (how many would you say are not commercial?) to maintain 12 months of records on what you do online (websites you visit, what you post, etc). These kinds of Panopticon-like surveillance tools have been promoted by the Justice Department of the Bush and Obama administrations. There are more Republican backers of this bill than Demoncrats, but it is important to note that there are elected officials on both sides of the aisle who want to push this terrible law onto the American people. Let your congressional leaders know here that you won’t stand for this kind of offensive affront to American liberties.
Interestingly, a similar law recently took effect in China. Read about it here.