One such issue is trying to raise its ugly head. A group of genius politicians and "law enforcement" jackboot thugs has been making the rounds in Washington D.C. for some years now about the anonymity of the Internet and how hard it is to track wrongdoers online. Their "solution"? Make you keep logs of anyone and everyone who uses your WiFi.
CNET just recently ran a story on the latest efforts. Don't let the title put you at ease. See, it's NOT just ISP's these two bills will affect. From the story:
Each contains the same language: "A provider of an electronic communication service or remote computing service shall retain for a period of at least two years all records or other information pertaining to the identity of a user of a temporarily assigned network address the service assigns to that user."
Translated, the Internet Safety Act applies not just to AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and so on--but also to the tens of millions of homes with Wi-Fi access points or wired routers that use the standard method of dynamically assigning temporary addresses. (That method is called Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, or DHCP.)
So... Quick, tell me everyone who has ridden in your car for the last two years. Where did they get on? When? Where did they go? Remember, the bills, as quote above, would require you, under federal law, to "retain for a period of at least two years all records or other information pertaining to the identity of a user of a temporarily assigned network address the service assigns to that user."
Think about that long and hard. Think about how, if your Wireless Router is turned off, those logs just disappear. That tornado that knocks out your power lines can now turn you into a federal criminal at the same time that it wipes out your house.
Lovely, eh? And why, pray tell, are some people ready to do this? According to Republican Senator John Cornyn from Texas:
"While the Internet has generated many positive changes in the way we
communicate and do business, its limitless nature offers anonymity that has
opened the door to criminals looking to harm innocent children," U.S. Sen. John
Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said at a press conference on Thursday. "Keeping our
children safe requires cooperation on the local, state, federal, and family
See, the police need to catch bad guys. But now they want YOU to do their policework for them. AND, think about it, since these little wireless routers don't retain these logs, what do you think is next? Automatic Upload of that information, of course.
I hear Big Brother calling out. And he doesn't care about donkeys or elephants. There are politicians in BOTH parties wanting to do this.