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The Minnesota Daily

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Rep. Lamar Smith’s online monitoring bill faces public scrunity


Rep. Lamar Smith’s (R-Texas) Internet monitoring bill has come to public light following postponements to the Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT IP Act, the International Business Times reported.

H.R. 1981, the Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011, is considered by some to be a broad Internet surveillance bill. The bill was introduced in May 2011 and is currently in congressional committees.

Section four from H.R. 1981 requires internet service providers to retain their user activity logs and IP addresses for at least a year and make them available to law enforcement.

The bill’s language would essentially require ISPs to track and store each user’s online movements so authorities can better protect minors from  online predators.

David Seaman, a new media advocate, told the IBTimes the bill was named "so that politicians in the House and Senate are strong-armed into voting for it, even though it contains utterly insane 1984-style Big Brother surveillance provisions."

The bill’s Canadian counterpart is C-30, introduced by Vic Toews, the country’s public safety minister. C-30 would expand the abilities of mobile carriers and police to monitor people’s browsing habits without a warrant, according to the IBTimes.

Smith also sponsored SOPA, which was shelved in January following widespread online protests. Several anti-piracy and Internet regulation bills have risen and fallen in recent months as lawmakers try grappling with intellectual property theft and illegal activity online in the face of popular opposition.

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