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Protecting Children?

I’m sick of it. Every time the politicians want to intrude on peoples’ lives they haul out the excuse: “It’s to protect children.” If politicians actually cared about children they would help them move out of poverty.

Now, according to CNET, ISP snooping gaining support:

At a hearing last week, Rep. Ed Whitfield, a Kentucky Republican who heads a House oversight and investigations subcommittee, suggested that data retention laws would be useful to police investigating crimes against children.

“I absolutely think that that is an idea that is worth pursuing,” an aide to Whitfield said in an interview on Thursday. “If those files were retained for a longer period of time, it would help in the uncovering and prosecution of these crimes.” Another hearing is planned for April 27.

Internet providers generally offer three reasons why they are skeptical of mandatory data retention: first, it is not clear who will be able to access records of someone’s online behavior; second, it’s not clear who will pay for the data warehouses to be constructed; and third, it’s not clear that police are hindered by current law as long as they move swiftly in investigations.

“What we haven’t seen is any evidence where the data would have been helpful, where the problem was not caused by law enforcement taking too long when they knew a problem existed,” said Dave McClure, president of the U.S. Internet Industry Association, which represents small to midsize companies.

McClure said that while data retention aficionados cite child pornography, the stored data would be open to any type of investigation–including, for instance, those focused on drug crimes, tax fraud, or terrorism prosecutions. “The agenda behind this doesn’t appear to be legitimate,” he said.

Of course it’s not legitimate, it’s another power grab from the KGB DoJ. They aren’t using the PATRIOT Act for terrorism investigations, they are using it for their standard workload with a seeming preference for drug and pornography cases. The only “terrorists” that seem to interest this Department of Justice are “eco-terrorists”.

Protecting children is the job of parents, not the Congress. Collecting more terabytes of data on people is not going to make children safer; it’s just building another pond for the DoJ to fish in.


1 Steve Bates { 04.16.06 at 10:27 am }

Those of us who objected to the PATRIOT Act in the short time between its introduction and its passage predicted that its more draconian provisions would be used not just to combat terrorism but to pursue all manner of ordinary criminal cases. From what has been made public about how the law has been used, it is clear that many of the abuses we imagined have been realized. We were right to object. No surprise there: give government institutions secret and invasive powers, and they will use them.

Any attempt to create some sort of “Akashic Records” of the internet, whatever else it accomplishes, is guaranteed to obliterate any notion of individual privacy. Are we to protect the children (“the children! what about the children!”) by bequeathing them a surveillance state?

2 Bryan { 04.16.06 at 11:45 am }

Do these idiots have any idea how much data is involved? Do they understand how much spam will be stored? Do they understand that most e-mail programs automatically delete messages from the servers when they are retrieved? Do they understand that if you can’t find it on the individual’s computer it has zero evidentiary value in court? Who pays for this?

The people who write these laws don’t know what they are talking about, they are parroting things they have been told.

This much information stored on computers for an extended period time is an invitation for identity theft. It isn’t encrypted because it has always had such a brief lifespan.

3 Blind Mind’s Eye » America’s pedocratic surveillance state { 04.21.06 at 9:44 pm }

[…] Why Now?. […]

4 Blind Mind’s Eye » America’s pedocratic surveillance state { 04.21.06 at 9:44 pm }

[…] Why Now?. […]

5 Why Now? » Blog Archive » They Are Data Mining { 06.01.06 at 7:02 pm }

[…] Last month Abu Gonzo needed this data to protect children, but since that didn’t seem to work, CNet is reporting that Terrorism invoked in ISP snooping proposal: In a radical departure from earlier statements, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has said that requiring Internet service providers to save records of their customers’ online activities is necessary in the fight against terrorism, CNET News.com has learned. […]