Pedobear by San Diego Shooter

Barely noticed in the shitstorm that has enveloped DC this past couple of weeks, a House panel manged to find time to debate, amend, vote on at least twice and pass out of committee one of the most far reaching intrusions on the lives and privacy of ordinary Americans that we’ve seen yet.

It’s not a done deal yet of course, and to be perfectly honest, it may not ever be, at least in it’s present form, given the past and current opposition of most Democrats and many Republican leaders, but after this past few weeks, I’m not sure the the Republicans are even in control of their party anymore and frankly, nothing they’d do to kiss the Teaper’s backsides would surprise me..

Just like Social Security and Medicare, it’s something the radical right has  been hammering on for years and this version… yet another product of the lunatics that have apparently assumed total control of the Republican party… is probably the most egregious and pervasive proposal so far.

And they did it while we were supposedly preoccupied… a favorite tactic… by the theatrical production they themselves were staging over the debt ceiling.  Nobody was supposed to notice just one more turd in an avalanche of turds rolling downhill at a time when turds are all we can expect from our “leaders” because they’re about the only thing left in plentiful supply in Washington.

Declan McCullagh @ CNet:

Internet providers would be forced to keep logs of their customers’ activities for one year–in case police want to review them in the future–under legislation that a U.S. House of Representatives committee approved today.

The 19 to 10 vote represents a victory for conservative Republicans, who made data retention their first major technology initiative after last fall’s elections, and the Justice Department officials who have quietly lobbied for the sweeping new requirements, a development first reported by CNET.

A last-minute rewrite of the bill expands the information that commercial Internet providers are required to store to include customers’ names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and temporarily-assigned IP addresses, some committee members suggested. By a 7-16 vote, the panel rejected an amendment that would have clarified that only IP addresses must be stored.

As a good friend put it when she emailed me about it this morning, “Not only will this *perhaps* catch pedophiles, it’s also going to catch anyone who speaks out. Welcome to the world of censoring the internet.”.  Exactly right and say goodbye to the world in which the Wall Street Masters of the Universe and their Washington turdminions even bothered to pay lip service to the rights of American citizens to any kind of privacy.

It represents “a data bank of every digital act by every American” that would “let us find out where every single American visited Web sites,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, who led Democratic opposition to the bill.

But perhaps the most egregious illustration of the blatant hypocrisy of this particular nest of conservative congressional rodents was the name they gave the bill:

To make it politically difficult to oppose, proponents of the data retention requirements dubbed the bill the Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011, even though the mandatory logs would be accessible to police investigating any crime and perhaps attorneys litigating civil disputes in divorce, insurance fraud, and other cases as well.

“The bill is mislabeled,” said Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the senior Democrat on the panel. “This is not protecting children from Internet pornography. It’s creating a database for everybody in this country for a lot of other purposes.”

Lofgren said the data retention requirements are easily avoided because they only apply to “commercial” providers. Criminals would simply go to libraries or Starbucks coffeehouses and use the Web anonymously, she said, while law-abiding Americans would have their activities recorded.

Reminds me of a case here in our little county where a library aide caught one of these dudes plying his trade on a library computer and called the cops.  Yeah, he was arrested but she was fired by the library for “overstepping her bounds”.  So yeah, if I was one, that’s where I’d be doing it because even if they catch you they’ll be afraid to tell anyone.

More at the link about the history of attempts to either censor the Internet or turn it into just another way for our emerging police state plutarchy to spy on the general citizenry and monitor free speech.  There have been several over the years but as I said, this is probably the worst one yet and given the fact that the Republican party finds itself in the position of a dog being wagged by its own tail on everything else, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them double down on it.

Tom B

Tom B