SOPA replacement uses child porn as excuse to spy on 99.7 percent of Americans

Tuesday, February 21, 2012
By Paul Martin

SOPA author Lamar Smith pushing bill to make web sites track every user’s every move

By Kevin Fogarty
February 20, 2012

The SOPA and PIPA bills that went down in flames earlier this year for their unbearable intrusiveness, used content piracy as an excuse to give the government powerful tools with which to censor Internet content.

For 2012 the primary author of those bills has switched to a fallback tactic: using child porn as an excuse to create a vast surveillance network from which the government can demand data on every email sent, site visited or link clicked on by all but a fraction of one percent of the U.S. population.

Internet anti-censorship advocates including Anonymous are calling for the ouster of Texas Congressman Lamar Smith, who is following his co-sponsorship of the failed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) with a bill critics call “Big Brother” disguised as an effort to curb child porn and sexual abuse.

Last May Smith, a Texas Republican credited as primary author of both SOPA and PIPA, the Senate version, also introduced H.R. 1981, a bill called the “Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011″ (PCFIPA).

The anti-child-porn provisions in the bill are a “fig leaf for its true purpose: A sweeping data retention requirement meant to turn Internet Service Providers and online companies into surrogate snoops for the government’s convenience,” according to Julian Sanchez, Internet privacy and censorship researcherat the center-right Cato Institute.

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