ISPs Fear SAFETY Act Outlaws Email; While RIAA Thrilled They Can Use Retained Log Files For Anti-Piracy

from the not-so-good dept

Last week, in talking about the misleadingly named Internet SAFETY Act, we focused on how it would most likely require home internet users to retain log files of everyone who connected to their network. Now, others are pointing out two equally annoying consequences (intended or not) of the bill’s current wording. First off, ISPs are noting that, based on the current wording of the bill, providing email is effectively outlawed, as it says that anyone that “facilitates access to” child pornography can be fined and imprisoned. ISPs note that email is a commonly used tool to access child pornography. And, yes, while it’s clearly not what is intended by the law, we’ve certainly seen prosecutors looking to bring someone down willing to use ridiculous interpretations of a law.

On top of that, people are noticing that this bill, if turned into a law, would also greatly help the RIAA and the MPAA who would gleefully use those log files to go after more file uploaders. In fact, the RIAA and MPAA have been huge supporters of stronger data retention rules for years. Of course, the longer you keep log files, the more likely it is that there will be massive privacy breaches, but it seems clear that the RIAA and MPAA aren’t particularly concerned with privacy, if it means their dying business models can be propped up for another few weeks.

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Comments on “ISPs Fear SAFETY Act Outlaws Email; While RIAA Thrilled They Can Use Retained Log Files For Anti-Piracy”

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Anonymous Coward says:

They’ve wanted to put the internet genie back into the bottle since its inception as an alternate and mostly unregulated way to disseminate music, video and any other form of information. I mean, how dare someone innovate without their permission and make their business model’s obsolete! How dare we get our information any other way than through their carefully sanitized media outlets!

Anonymous Coward says:

well, since the standard user wouldn’t have the set-up to securely back-up the logs, what happens when an old router goes kaput? how would anyone punish that?

so the solution is for the tech savvy of us to set up our routers to auto-delete the file and then claim complete incompetence, back-ups failed, or some other excuse. Laws only work because people decide to follow them, if no one follows the law then they get rid of it (look at prohibition).

TriZz says:

Re: Re:

That’s the biggest load of crap I’ve ever read. The prohibition was canceled because it caused more harm than good (ie: lost tax revenue). They don’t cancel laws because no one is paying attention, hell…in my state, it’s still illegal to perform any sexual position other than missionary.

Whether they chose to enforce those laws is one thing…but to say they cancel them because no one is abiding by them is just ridiculous.

You better believe that IF this law passes and they need someone to have those logs and they don’t, they will make an example out of them.

IDoNotLikeThis says:

I no longer think it is about the copyright

I no longer think it is about the copyright.

It has become obvious that there is an alterier motive to the constant onslaught upon the individual rights of the common person. I’m not exactly sure what the goal is, but it is not in your best interest. Copyright is just one of many tools created to beat you over the head until you give up.

TW Burger (profile) says:

Re: Veto much?

Don’t be so sure. Any politician in history, when faced with the choice between anarchy and martial law, has selected martial law. The only difference between a dictator and a servant of the people is how soon martial law is revoked after order is restored.

Of course email is not rioting in the streets but given the right circumstances I could see the White House backing a bill to heavily regulate email.

For example, email was responsible for spreading the leak of a report of how bad things are getting in Afghanistan.

tom termini (user link) says:

what happened to the party of personal privacy?

The republicans continue to amaze… instead of tacking actual problems, they are chasing the ‘internet bugaboo’ at the behest of the rapacious music industry?

Republicans continue to manipulate voters of ‘christian’ faiths for political gain, and feed upon the ‘everyone is a terrorist’ fear-mongering approach to manipulate voters.

Of course, except for retaining the former president’s log files, email, etc.

Paul Brinker says:

Simple Fix

Only log IP addresses, to make it even more fun make sure everyone on the net changes there IP address every few months, Each company needs to make sure there change is random when it happens so that the entire table gets all mixed up.

Or we could all use a out of country proxy (the great firewall of china would be perfect) so that the log shows one address for the last 2 years (china).

Technical solutions for legal(political, corporate, take your pick…) problems never work, please stop trying.

RD says:

Er….no. The *IAA dont get this info. This is a law “for the children” and about child porn and terrorism. And even if they can get access to logs to try to prove the “crimes”, good luck getting that with a john doe letter like they have been suing people with. You’ll need a court order and something a bit stronger than “we think so.”

Kevin says:

I plead the 5th

Wouldn’t requiring people to keep logs of their daily activities that could be used in court against them be a violation of the 5th ammendment protection against self-incrimination?

Another point, one of the drafts I saw specifically stated that they had to log activities for devices using dynamically assigned addresses. Does that mean that if I set a static IP for all of my internet devices and turn off DHCP then I don’t have to keep logs?

R. Miles says:


After reading the definitions of “SAFETY”, I could only laugh.

That document shows 100% proof how stupid our politicians are, but even more so about those who elected them into office.

If you want good reading, go to a few forums discussing this. It’s stunning how stupid people are to technology, but more so about putting the responsibility on parenting to Corporate America, rather than take it themselves.

Of all the laws we really need, it’s the PROTEST law, or the PROcreation TEsting STatute which prevents stupid people from having children who can’t take responsibility in raising them by scoring couples wanting children for the sake of having them.

PROTEST would also reduce the number of idiots voting other idiots into office in the long run.

So, sign my bill. Let’s put it into law.

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