Saturday, July 30, 2011

Internet privacy: snooping bill advanced in House; Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sponsors similar bill in Senate; assault on consumer privacy; increases data breach risks; police organizations back bill

The National Sheriff’s Association, the Major County Sheriff’s Association, the International Union of Police Associations and the Fraternal Order of Police are backing a bill in the house which would force ISPs to retain customers' names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and temporarily-assigned IP addresses for 12 months.
     CNET reports that the so-called "Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 (H.R. 1981)" was sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL).
     Xbiz Newswire reports that a Senate version of the measure — S. 1308 — was introduced June 30 by Utah Republican Orrin Hatch and cosponsored by Republican Senators Charles Grassley of Iowa and Jeff Sessions of Alabama, and Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
     The Raw Story quotes Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, which advanced the bill 19-10: "The bill is mislabeled. This is not protecting children from Internet pornography. It's creating a database for everybody in this country for a lot of other purposes."
     The Electronic Frontier Foundation had this to say about the bill:
"The data retention mandate in this bill would treat every Internet user like a criminal and threaten the online privacy and free speech rights of every American, as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have recognized," Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston of the Electronic Frontier Foundation said.
     "Requiring Internet companies to redesign and reconfigure their systems to facilitate government surveillance of Americans' expressive activities is simply un-American. Such a scheme would be as objectionable to our Founders as the requiring of licenses for printing presses or the banning of anonymous pamphlets."
That's My Congress reports the roll call of the vote in the House Judiciary Committee in favor of H.R. 1981′s expansion of online surveillance through private internet service providers revealed the following "yes" votes:
Lamar Smith, Howard Coble, Elton Gallegly, Bob Goodlatte, Dan Lungren, Steve Chabot, Randy Forbes, Steve King, Trent Franks, Tim Griffin, Thomas Marino, Trey Gowdy, Dennis Ross, Sandy Adams, Howard Berman, Sheila Jackson Lee, Pedro Pierluisi, Mike Quigley, Ted Deutch

The bill is opposed by the following groups, which signed on to an ACLU letter opposing the bill:

Advocacy for Principled Action in Government
American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
American Civil Liberties Union
American Library Association
Association of Research Libraries
Bill of Rights Defense committee
Center for Democracy & Technology
Center for Digital Democracy
Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights
Center for Media and Democracy
Center for National Security Studies
Consumer Action
Consumer Federation of America
Consumer Watchdog
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Defending Dissent Foundation
Demand Progress, Inc.
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Electronic Privacy Information Center
Friends of Privacy USA
Liberty Coalition
Muslim Public Affairs Council
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
National Workrights Institute
Patient Privacy Rights
Privacy Activism
Privacy Journal, Robert Ellis Smith, Publisher
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
World Privacy Forum

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