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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 4:36pm

    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!

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 4:41pm

    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).

     

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  3.  
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    Jesse, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 5:12pm

    Legislators write laws and when people point out problems, they say, "That isn't what the law is for and so it won't be a problem." And then prosecutors turn around and say, "Well the letter of the law says this, so we have to do what the law says."

    Brilliant.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    TriZz, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 5:17pm

    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.

     

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  5.  
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    IDoNotLikeThis, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 5:20pm

    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.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 5:23pm

    Since I do not have the storage capacity, I'll just forward all the WIFI logs to my congress critter on a weekly basis.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Nick, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 5:25pm

    Veto much?

    Obama would totally veto this, IMO

     

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  8.  
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    tom termini, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 5:29pm

    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.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 5:43pm

    would most likely require home internet users to retain log files of everyone who connected to their network.

    Dang, I was storing them on these floppies; but I spilled my coffee on it.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    TW Burger, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 6:16pm

    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. http://secure.wikileaks.org/wiki/ISAF:_Afghanistan_civilian_deaths_rises_and_other_statistics%2C _14_Jan_2009

     

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  11.  
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    Paul Brinker, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 6:19pm

    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.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    eleete, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 6:20pm

    Re: what happened to the party of personal privacy?

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    eleete, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 6:23pm

    Re: Re: what happened to the party of personal privacy?

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    eleete, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 6:25pm

    Re: Veto much?

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    eleete, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 6:27pm

    Re:

    I store my log files on floppies too, right on top of my speaker box. Hope that huge magnet doesn't harm them.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    RD, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 6:40pm

    um...no

    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."

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    eleete, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 6:44pm

    Re: um...no

    awwwwww, those poor poor children. This oughtta help them out. So our polluticians force us to log our own activities now so that we can hand it over en masse. Exactly what we've been up to on the net for the past X years. Once again EVERYONE is Guilty til they can prove themselves innocent ?

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 7:14pm

    Floppies?

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Kevin, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 8:19pm

    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?

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Dan, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 8:55pm

    Don't wait, act now!

    Come on guys if everybody with a WIFI router would email a txt attachment of their log files every day to their Congressman we could kill this issue in one month. It would be a tsunami of data. They would then be able to understand the implications of their stupidity.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    David, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 9:08pm

    Obama veto this?

    Don't count on Obama. If you haven't noticed, almost every person his administration has appointed to the Justice Dept is a former *IAA lawyer. He is not on the side of rights for people. He's all about copyright and making you criminals.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    eleete, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 11:41pm

    Re: Obama veto this?

    Wait just a gosh darn second !! Are you insinuating that a pollutician has gone back on his word ? How dare you !!

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Azrael, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 12:26am

    Re: I no longer think it is about the copyright

    I think reading 1984 by George Orwell will clarify everything.
    BTW if you want to know who is Big Brother just look at who is really running the shots in USA.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Azrael, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 12:30am

    Re:

    Nah, it's easier to store them on no name, 10 cents a disk CD-R's, especially if you use them as coasters.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    R. Miles, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 3:58am

    SAFETY spells DISASTER.

    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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  26.  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 4:02am

    Re: I no longer think it is about the copyright

    It's never been about copyright. It's always been about retaining and/or expanding control. The RIAA and MPAA have been losing it and that scares them.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    New Market, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 6:14am

    I see a new market emerging...

    I can see a new market emerging for people to buy defective hard drives to hand over when asked for their logs.

    "What? The hard drive doesn't work? How odd... and unfortunate... all of my log files were on there!"

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Evil Mike, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 6:15am

    Re: Re: I no longer think it is about the copyright

    That, sir, is a horrible pun.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 8:11am

    Can I sue congress for wasting taxpayer money like this?

    Can I sue congress for wasting taxpayer money like this?

    Seriously, can I?

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    D.W., Feb 26th, 2009 @ 3:34pm

    CENSORSHIP Plain and simple

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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