Aug 01 2011

Another bad deal from our Galtian overlords

Published by at 8:43 pm under Hypocrites

While most of Congress was bending over backwards to suck Grover Norquists kneecaps, you probably missed this little tidbit from our legislative betters on Capitol Hill: 

Every right-thinking person abhors child pornography. To combat it, legislators have brought through committee a poorly conceived, over-broad Congressional bill, The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011. It is arguably the biggest threat to civil liberties now under consideration in the United States. The potential victims: everyone who uses the Internet.


The good news? It hasn’t gone before the full House yet. 

The bad news: it already made it through committee. And history shows that in times of moral panic, overly broad legislation has a way of becoming law. In fact, a particular moment comes to mind. 

That name is what brought the anecdote back to me. A better name for the child pornography bill would be The Encouragement of Blackmail by Law Enforcement Act. At issue is how to catch child pornographers. It’s too hard now, say the bill’s backers, and I can sympathize. It’s their solution that appalls me: under language approved 19 to 10 by a House committee, the firm that sells you Internet access would be required to track all of your Internet activity and save it for 18 months, along with your name, the address where you live, your bank account numbers, your credit card numbers, and IP addresses you’ve been assigned. 

Tracking the private daily behavior of everyone in order to help catch a small number of child criminals is itself the noxious practice of police states. Said an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation: “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.” Even more troubling is what the government would need to do in order to access this trove of private information: ask for it. 

I kid you not — that’s it. 

As written, The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 doesn’t require that someone be under investigation on child pornography charges in order for police to access their Internet history — being suspected of any crime is enough. (It may even be made available in civil matters like divorce trials or child custody battles.) Nor do police need probable cause to search this information. As Rep. James Sensenbrenner says, (R-Wisc.) “It poses numerous risks that well outweigh any benefits, and I’m not convinced it will contribute in a significant way to protecting children.” 

Among those risks: blackmail. 

This is how our right to privacy dies-they wrap it up in a nice shiny wrapper and tell us it is for our own good. Jph Cole made a great point a couple of days back: “I can’t wait to see if the loudmouth “freedom” lovers in the tea party actually come out on the side of freedom. Although they are probably too focussed on keeping the Koch’s taxes low and making sure Michelle doesn’t have too many calories for lunch.”

Where is their outrage about this?  Not a peep to be heard-it gets in the way of making the rich even richer.

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7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Another bad deal from our Galtian overlords”

  1. Curtison 01 Aug 2011 at 9:16 pm

    This is the sphere that you inhabit. I’m one hell of a Galtian, despise government, hate big regulators, feel nothing but contempt for the law as laid down by the loose interpreters of the Constitution.

    Skippy’s this is your law.

    This is what you really want. Regulations take my privacy away, oh my.

    It’s not enough that the big law take my money, it should track every aspect of my banking, thinking, writing, etc.

    Congratulations commissars, you win it all in Amerika.

    Go ahead motherfuckers, blame Bush!

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  2. Skippy-sanon 02 Aug 2011 at 5:38 am

    How is this my law? This is throwing the baby out with the bath water-and worse it was sent through committee with a GOP majority of votes.

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  3. Curtison 02 Aug 2011 at 8:19 am

    How not your law?

    You argue that the state has every right to take as much of my money as it wants or I go to jail. Now the state demands all your information. Who believes that the state is entitled and empowered to make such demands? You do.

    I rest my case.

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  4. Skippy-sanon 02 Aug 2011 at 2:54 pm

    The two are nothing alike. Taxes are an obligation laid forth by law-and there are a variety of ways to levy them. They do not have to be income taxes, they can be in the form of excise taxes etc. Like it or not-some level of taxation is necessary to ensure we have a civil society.

    You can choose not to pay them-with the attendent penalties, of course. But taxes do not violate the consititution. After all-youo can vote in people who will repeal them. And I have never said it can take as much of your money as it wants to-I am simply saying that if we are to have taxation as we must, it should fall fairly on those according to ability to pay. Repealing the Bush Tax cuts is probably not going to increase your tax burden on the federal level all that much. If it does-then we should get to know each other better-because it means you have bucks.

    But this is a violation of the first and 4th amendments. Pure and simple.

    The right to surf porn shall not be abridged.

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  5. Richardon 02 Aug 2011 at 3:57 pm

    for every $1000 above $250,000 one wlll pay an extra 30 order to make up a trillion dollars we must have a hellava LOT of folks who make more than $250,000?
    IF they deign to pay….
    Flat tax anyone….
    oh, and question for a fomer may know about the Littoral comabt ship that is being eaten alive by rust and is now in drydock. It seems the builder did not or forgot to put in the anti rust measures required.
    How, in Yawehs name, could something like this happen?
    How did the navy inspectors miss that?

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  6. Skippy-sanon 02 Aug 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Because LCS was a power point fantasy-that many smarter people than me tried to tell our naval leadership was a mistake. Particularly when there were good plans on the table to upgrade the FFG’s and Spruances-and there are several excellent European frigate designs that we could have built under license.

    This is the part where Curtis chimes in…….

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  7. Curtison 02 Aug 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Yes once you accept that giveaway of the Constitutional rights we had until the 16th amendment but what the hell, let’s give away the 1st and 4th too. 50% of the people are now feral and pay no tax and care nothing at all about the Constitution or good governance as long as Obama keeps their bills paid from his “stash”. What do you imagine they care now about your privacy issues? You got the guns, you got the money, what are holding on to with your cold dead hand now? Is the the vaunted 9th Circuit going to back up the right of the people to know all about everything that happens on line, not in the name of the Patriot Act but rather just to assert the right that if there be porn surfing, panty sniffing perverts out there, we all have a right to know about it?

    such a liberal and progressive point of view is hard to escape.

    Take credit for it Skippies this is right down your alley. A law you can support since it empowers the state!

    Craigslist is selling some really nice brown shirts for you guys with lightning bolts attached on both sleeves. (A new feature that they thought you’d like.)

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