by - January 24, 2012

The SOPA & PIPA bills have been shelved in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, but that doesn't mean we should fall back into complacency concerning our use of the internet.

In fact, SOPA and PIPA were not the only internet-based bills before our federal lawmakers.

The 'Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011, H.R. 1981, is making its way through the House, and lo and behold if it isn't sponsored by the same senator behind SOPA, Sen. Lamar Smith.

On the surface, this bill seems like a great thing. I mean, who doesn't want to protect children from sexual predators?

However, there are several provisions in this bill that are a complete invasion of privacy, not to mention an increase in a person's risk of having their identity stolen.

Basically what this bill does is requires all internet service providers to keep 18 months of your activity on file in a secure location. That means all your billing information, including your credit card and personal information, will be stored with those providers - ripe for the picking.

What's worse is that you don't have to be suspected of child pornography for those files to be searched by the federal government or any other law enforcement agency, although they do have to request access to the information.

So what Sen. Smith wants is for every single person in the United States' internet browsing history to be kept on file, regardless of if they're guilty of or even thinking about child pornography.

I don't know about you guys, but sifting through the browsing history of hundreds-of-millions of people doesn't seem like an efficient way to catch child predators. No, it seems more like an invasion of our privacy and a violation of our first amendment rights.

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  1. I say let's leave it to the experts... like Dateline's Chris Hansen.