Rep. Lofgren Introduces Global Free Internet Act

from the needed,-but-unlikely dept

Rep. Zoe Lofgren has recently announced two brand new, but important bills (pdf): there's HR 6529, which is an ECPA reform act and HR 6530, the Global Internet Freedom Act. The ECPA reform effort is one we've discussed a few times recently. It's much needed, but law enforcement officials are pushing back against it because it would require them to get warrants before spying on electronic communications -- which is something they don't want at all. Here's what the bill would do according to Lofgren's fact sheet:
  1. The government should obtain a warrant before compelling a service provider to disclose an individual’s private online communications.
  2. The government should obtain a warrant before it can track the location of an individual’s wireless communication device.
  3. Before it can install a pen register or trap and trace device to capture real time transactional data about when and with whom an individual communicates using digital services (such as email or mobile phone calls), the government should demonstrate to a court that such data is relevant to a criminal investigation.
  4. The government should not use an administrative subpoena to compel service providers to disclose transactional data about multiple unidentified users of digital services (such as a bulk request for the names and addresses of everyone that visited a particular website during a specified time frame). The government may compel this information through a warrant or court order, but subpoenas should specify the individuals about whom the government seeks information.
All of these seem perfectly reasonable -- but given how hard law enforcement has fought against earlier ECPA reforms, it seems unlikely it'll go anywhere.

The Free Internet effort is also important, obviously, if a bit more vague. Lofgren's summary:
The Global Free Internet Act would create a Task Force on the Global Internet that identifies, prioritizes, and develops a response to policies and practices of the U.S. government, foreign governments, or international bodies that deny fair market access to Internet-related goods and services, or that threaten the technical operation, security, and free flow of global Internet communications. Members of the Task Force include the heads of several executive branch agencies, four U.S. persons nominated by Congressional leadership, and four U.S. persons who are not government employees nominated by the Internet itself. The Task Force would hold public hearings, issue reports no less than annually, and coordinate the activity of the U.S. government to respond to threats to the Internet. When the next SOPA-like legislation, restrictive international trade agreement, or overbroad treaty from an international body becomes a threat, it is the job of this Task Force to sound the alarm and propose a course of action
This is basically something that the government probably should have done a while ago, if it truly believed in the importance of an open and free internet... which is exactly why it, too, seems unlikely. And, of course, bills introduced at this point are unlikely to go very far, seeing as Congress is out of session for election season, only to come back briefly for a lame duck session after the election. It would be great if these bills got some attention, but unfortunately they're unlikely to do much this time around. Hopefully Lofgren introduces similar bills next year too.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 2:59pm

    Sounds like

    a pure election ploy never intended to go anywhere - just an attempt to swing votes.

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 3:02pm

    60%

    The number of persons on the 'Task Force' should be 60% or more. If there are 8 folks from the 'Govmint', then there should be 12 from the Internet. (I did the math, and in this example getting an absolute 60% is not possible). The point being, that there are allot more of us than of them, so why should they have a majority?

    Beyond that, what 'force' would a Tack Force have when the Constitution is being ignored?

    Seems like grandstanding to me, but kudos to Lofgren for at least heading in something like the right direction.

     

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  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 3:06pm

    What a slimeball. Amongst decent requests, she sneaks in language designed to protect infringers.

    Go die in a fire, you c**t.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 3:12pm

    Re:

    Troll.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 3:13pm

    Will this Task Force employ a cat signal? Because if not, it loses all credibility for me.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 3:13pm

    Re:

    You're the slimeball. people shouyld not be punished to protect a goverment granted monopoly.

    Go get sodimized by camels, you twatbattery

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 3:14pm

    Re:

    Nice parody of a retarded AC comment there, bro!

     

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

  8. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Re:

    And I shouldn't be punished for repeatedly kicking you in the balls.

    Why? Because I say so.

    Now stand still for second...

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 3:30pm

    Let's see w hoboth Republicans and Democrats step over each other to support this bill...because, after all, both have in their 2012 platform that they support "Internet Freedom", right?

    So I see no reason why they wouldn't be in a hurry to vote for this bill, to gain votes in the election and show people how they actually want to implement the policies and principles described by their platforms.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    RD, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 3:33pm

    Re:

    What a champion of the public! Amongst horrible requests, she adds crucial language designed to protect the rights of EVERYONE who uses the internet.

    ftfy

    Please, FOAD

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 3:44pm

    Regulatory capture, here we come

    four U.S. persons who are not government employees nominated by the Internet itself.

    The bill text says that while the people are nominated by the public, it's still the president who decides which of those nominations to appoint.

    I can picture Biden assuring the **AA that the 'right' people will be selected.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 4:17pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Feels good man

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 4:40pm

    Way to grandstand Zoe. How many co-sponsors do you have?

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 5:07pm

    Election ploy?

    Lofgren isn't facing a credible challenge in her re-election bid, so I don't see how this is a ploy to gain extra votes...

    These bills are just sending a signal for the next session of Congress. The summary says she's going to re-introduce them next year.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 6:05pm

    I love this:

    "This bill has a 1% chance of being enacted. The following factors were considered:

    The sponsor is a member of the minority party. (-2%)

    Just 4% of all House bills in 2009–2010 were enacted."

    Basically, at the house level, 96% of everything that gets proposed gets shot down.

    Worse yet, this is a minority party rep trying to push through a bill that has no real support, no widespread base, and no real "hot button" issue to leverage it into the media.

    I would say zero chance. The rep could have proposed ham sandwiches for all and gotten more general support - even if certain members would abstain from voting because of their religious views on pork. :)

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 6:17pm

    Re:

    Yeah, she should just agree with all those great GOP bills that are out there. And nevermind that a huge number of tech companies and civil liberties groups agree with the reforms her ECPA bill would make. You're right.

     

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  17.  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Sep 25th, 2012 @ 6:20pm

    To bad we will not be seeing any real Freedom soon.Fearmongering and the many Sheeple who believe it will stand in the way.
    I do think they will just take away more of our Rights.
    They use the Constitution like it was toilet paper.

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    Kaden (profile), Sep 25th, 2012 @ 6:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Now, now, Sparky... we've talked about your ball kicking fetish before, and it's still not something nice boys do to *anyone*, no matter how frustrated they are that no one takes them seriously.

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Re:

    Umm, did I say that?

    Nope.

    The problem here is that it's easy to write up a bill and introduce it knowing it's not going anywhere. You can pander to your fan club without having to make due consideration for the implications you are proposing. You don't have to seek compromise or common ground, you can just write whatever and claim greatness from it. Done properly, those people who support you (in this case Mike) will trumpet your "new law" as something truly great, while knowing that it has no chance of even making it into debate.

    The effort is wasted when it's not done with any intent to pass the law.

    As for "huge number of tech companies" last time I looked, companies cannot vote. You guys are always bitching when the content producers support something, don't you think you should apply the same standard here and bitch about whining, moaning tech companies that want their free lunch?

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 6:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    From Lofgren's press release:

    "[Lofgren] said she introduced the bills to begin a serious conversation on the future of an open and free Internet. Rep. Lofgren noted the bills are unlikely to be acted upon before the end of the year and said she plans to reintroduce them next year when the newly elected Congress meets."

    So complaining that the bills won't pass this Congress - which she acknowledges herself - is your contribution to the serious conversation on the future of the Internet. Cool. Also, you have no idea what kind of effort is going on behind the scenes to pass these bills into law. This is bigger than Lofgren.

    As for the companies - it's not just companies that support ECPA reform. If you research the subject at all, you'll see that a large number of tech think tanks from the ACLU and EFF to FreedomWorks and CATO, also support ECPA reform. It shouldn't matter if they're content producers or not, because they're right - this would be good for privacy and Internet freedom in general. Why not stand up for what's right instead of just being cynical?

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 7:14pm

    "The government SHOULD..." (not "must")
    "The government SHOULD not..." (not "must not")

    Uh-huh. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. How is that "requiring" the government to do anything?

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 7:18pm

    Re:

    You're quoting from the summary. The bill says "shall."

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 7:20pm

    Re:

    What language is in there to protect infringers differently than other Internet users?

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 7:28pm

    Re: Re:

    FOAD? Oh RD, you are ruining Mike's moral stand here. Now you are suggesting harm and threatening people as well (by Techdirt standards).

    The shame!

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 8:03pm

    Re: 60%

    Isn't the number of persons on the 'Task Force' always going to be 100%? Do you mean 60% should be members of the public?

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 10:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "So complaining that the bills won't pass this Congress - which she acknowledges herself - is your contribution to the serious conversation on the future of the Internet. "

    If she wants to have a discussion, let's discuss. But wasting the public's time and money on introducing bills that will never make it doesn't advance the discussion, it just sinks it down to the level of partisan politics.

    Getting people like Mike to crow about new proposed laws isn't helping either. It adds nothing.

    Oh, and EFF is working hard to get discredited, their financing from key Google people, as well as their move away from dealing with situations and moving towards lobbying has pretty much turned them into just another whining one sided partisan mouthpiece. It's not really saying anything these days to say the EFF support it, you might as well just say "Google supports it" and avoid the middle man.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2012 @ 10:21pm

    Re:

    Yes, because standing up for one's principles is grandstanding.

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 12:23am

    Re: Sounds like

    can't be, the vat majority of people believe losing their freedom for security and copyright enforcement is a fair tradeoff

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 12:25am

    Re: Re: Re:

    babble babble babble

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 12:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    tireless "it's just Google" talking point. You can say you're persistent in your personal anti-Google / scapegoating / freedom-efforts undermining personal campaign.

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 1:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    babble babble babble.

    You aren't adding much, troll.

     

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

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 1:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Lol. I prefer that childish nagging over the reptilian insults.

    You get my funny vote which I hope will encourage you sticking to humor over hatred.

     

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

  33.  
    icon
    Trumpster (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 8:18am

    'Internet Nominated'

    Do they know how the internet community works?

    Almost every internet voting sweepstakes or the like gets usurped and voted for strange things. The new 'Hitler-Did-Nothing-Wrong' Mountain Dew for instance.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2012 @ 4:40am

    Re: Re:

    The government should not use an administrative subpoena to compel service providers to disclose transactional data about multiple unidentified users of digital services (such as a bulk request for the names and addresses of everyone that visited a particular website during a specified time frame). The government may compel this information through a warrant or court order, but subpoenas should specify the individuals about whom the government seeks information.

    Completely written to protect those in torrent swarms- bit torrent, a protocol used almost exclusively for piracy.

    Now you also need to go die in a fire. The world has enough problems without another worthless body roaming around, yet alone a fucking willfully ignorant parasite.

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2012 @ 5:19am

    Re: Re:

    Yes, because standing up for one's principles is grandstanding

    Zoe is part of a torrent swarm? lol

     

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

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2012 @ 5:21am

    Re: Election ploy?

    Zoe is just sending a signal for the next session of Congress that she's a stooge for Google.

    FTFY

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2012 @ 5:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    good luck with that one.

    the same type of idiots defended Exxon and RJ Reynolds back in the day.

    SSDD.

     

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

  38.  
    identicon
    devis mutuelle santé, Apr 10th, 2013 @ 7:03pm

    Genial ! Je partage ca sur facebook. j'ajoute votre blog à mes favoris. Bonne journée

     

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

  39.  
    identicon
    anonn, May 24th, 2013 @ 5:39am

    Re:

    True shit gore, what ever the fook are we going to dewww!?

     

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


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