Saturday, 21 February 2009


Texas Republicans (one Senate, one House) want 2-year internet logging

c|net news:

Republican politicians on Thursday called for a sweeping new federal law that would require all Internet providers and operators of millions of Wi-Fi access points, even hotels, local coffee shops, and home users, to keep records about users for two years to aid police investigations.

The legislation, which echoes a measure proposed by one of their Democratic colleagues three years ago, would impose unprecedented data retention requirements on a broad swath of Internet access providers and is certain to draw fire from businesses and privacy advocates.
[The Senate and House versions both contain] the same language: “A provider of an electronic communication service or remote computing service shall retain for a period of at least two years all records or other information pertaining to the identity of a user of a temporarily assigned network address the service assigns to that user.”  Translated, the Internet Safety Act applies not just to AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and so on--but also to the tens of millions of homes with Wi-Fi access points or wired routers that use the standard method of dynamically assigning temporary addresses.
Of course, there’s the usual excuse...
“While the Internet has generated many positive changes in the way we communicate and do business, its limitless nature offers anonymity that has opened the door to criminals looking to harm innocent children,” U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said at a press conference on Thursday. “Keeping our children safe requires cooperation on the local, state, federal, and family level.”

If Republicans ever want to regain their reputation for favoring limited government, they must stop advocating this kind of big-brother nonsense.  What lover of freedom calls for keeping two-year records of your internet use?

Well, it appears that’s just fine with these guys.

And as I have said before, it is time we stopped giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Congress is full of lawyers.  Congressional staffs are full of lawyers.  Lawyers are supposed to be able to figure out what their words mean.  Therefore, we must assume that the scope and impact of these bills is intentional.

Republicans used to be able to tell the difference between “protecting the children” and “giving the police and prosecutors everything they ask for, without considering the impact on individual liberty and privacy.”  But noooo....

Thanks a bunch, Cornyn.  Good job, Smith.  Should have left it to the Democrats.

And I hereby pledge $100 to the first real Republican who wants to run against either of you clowns in the next primary.

Naming names:
The Senate and House versions, and their sponsors:
S.436 “to amend title 18, United States Code, to protect youth from exploitation by adults using the Internet, and for other purposes.”
Sponsor:  Sen John Cornyn [TX] • Cosponsors: None

H.R.1076 “to amend title 18, United States Code, to protect youth from exploitation by adults using the Internet, and for other purposes.”
Sponsor:  Rep Lamar Smith [TX-21] • Cosponsors: None

Via: Slashdot

(NOTE:  THOMAS links fixed 090320.)

Posted by: Old Grouch in Rants at 00:07:48 GMT | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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Monday, 16 February 2009


Government orders book burnings- Nobody cares

As Our Masters in Washington decree:

...the federal government has now advised that children’s books published before 1985 should not be considered safe and may in many cases be unlawful to sell or distribute.  Merchants, thrift stores, and booksellers may be at risk if they sell older volumes, or even give them away, without first subjecting them to testing—at prohibitive expense.  Many used-book sellers, consignment stores, Goodwill outlets, and the like have accordingly begun to refuse new donations of pre-1985 volumes, yank existing ones off their shelves, and in some cases discard them en masse.

The problem is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), passed by Congress last summer after the panic over lead paint on toys from China...  Penalties under the law are strict and can include $100,000 fines and prison time, regardless of whether any child is harmed.
A commenter at Etsy, the large handicrafts and vintage-goods site, observed how things worked at one store:
I just came back from my local thrift store with tears in my eyes! I watched as boxes and boxes of children’s books were thrown into the garbage!  Today was the deadline and I just can’t believe it!  Every book they had on the shelves prior to 1985 was destroyed!  I managed to grab a 1967 edition of “The Outsiders” from the top of the box, but so many!
Congress passes a poorly-drafted law, a clueless president (yeah, Bush II) signs it, and here we are.  Can you say McCain-Feingold Again?

No. Let’s NOT give ’em the benefit of the doubt.  Let’s call this one more step in the liberal fascists’ plan to cut our children off from their history.

Because you can bet that the usual suspects will fight tooth-and-nail against any attempt to stop this.  (And that assumes there’s anyone left in Congress with enough brains and balls to try.)  Just watch.

(Yeah, I’m furious.  Can you tell yet?)

Elsewhere (added 090217 18:47):

Via: Ace


Posted by: Old Grouch in Rants at 17:53:44 GMT | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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