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Despite Ron Paul, House passes SAFE Act on obscene images.

12.06.2007 @ 10:28 AM in Lifestream
Ron Paul
  • The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bill saying that anyone offering an open Wi-Fi connection to the public must report illegal images including "obscene" cartoons and drawings--or face fines of up to $300,000. That broad definition would cover individuals, coffee shops, libraries, hotels, and even some government agencies that provide Wi-Fi. It also sweeps in social-networking sites, domain name registrars, Internet service providers, and e-mail service providers such as Hotmail and Gmail, and it may require that the complete contents of the user's account be retained for subsequent police inspection.
Of the entire house, only two voted nay on the Act: Rep. Paul Broun from Georgia and Rep. presidential candidate, Ron Paul. No word as to why only two or just these two, but I'm sure that Ron Paul will be brought under the spotlight for his decision, being a presidential candidate and all. The act states that:
  • Anyone providing an "electronic communication service" or "remote computing service" to the public who learns about the transmission or storage of information about certain illegal activities or an illegal image must (a) register their name, mailing address, phone number, and fax number with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's "CyberTipline" and (b) "make a report" to the CyberTipline that (c) must include any information about the person or Internet address behind the suspect activity and (d) the illegal images themselves.
In this case, "obscene" images depict child pornography, from hard core to even just fully clothed minors in overly lascivious poses, cartoons based on minors in a sexual manner, hentai, sculptures, paintings... pretty much anything that any normal, non-pedophillic, human being would immediately red flag in our heads and go WTF. Which brings my point to light:
Why force this into a law and further break down our digital rights to make conscious decisions? And why such impose a stark penalty? Granted, not everyone is on the up and up, but for the local coffee shop and even Starbucks, force us by law to patrol everyone's viewing habits and betray their privacy?
I'm very interested to hear Ron Paul's points on this. I get the law, I get the reason, but I don't like the penalty or the broad scope of the intention.
  • Cnet via Engadget
  • This bill is not up for public review but here's the stub for it from the Library of Congress
  • Mike found the link to the bill (pdf-link) for me, yet I don't know if this is the final bill, or the original.