The House Judiciary Committee just approved a bill (H.R. 1981) requiring Internet service providers to spy on their users and retain 12 months of data -- data that could be used to identify where you surf and what you post online. From the Electronic Frontier Foundation, quoting their Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston:
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. 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. Today's vote is therefore very disappointing, but we are especially thankful to GOP Representatives Sensenbrenner, Issa and Chaffetz, who chose principle over party-line in opposing this dangerous tech mandate. We hope that bipartisan opposition will grow as the bill makes its way to the House floor and more lawmakers are educated about this anti-privacy, anti-free speech, anti-innovation proposal.
Every time we let our rights be grabbed without a peep it makes it that much easier to take a big fistful of them the next time. Speak up, sheeple!
I am writing in strong opposition to HR 1981 ("Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011″) due to its provision mandating that Internet Service Providers maintain 12 months of personal information, including browsing and posting activity.
This bill that you co-sponsored is a direct assault on my right to privacy. In your admirable zeal to protect children, you have discarded the right to privacy for millions of Americans, and this is shameful.
I am certain that children can be protected without invasive, big brother monitoring of the activities of law-abiding citizens. I hope that when this bill comes to the floor you will support amendments to strike that provision from the bill. If not, it looks like I will need to count on other peoples' representatives to look out for me and my rights.
It's so easy. I just sent this message above to my nitwit of a representative, the just-elected Janice Hahn. Click and send! Click and send! In the age of the Internet, it's easy to make your voice heard. Speak out to defend our rights...now...today!