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Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act

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The Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act, also known as H.R. 1981, is a bill currently passed out of House committee. It was introduced by Lamar Smith in May, 2011, but gained little attention until January 2012. The bill seeks to make it harder for pornographers to upload illegal content to the Internet. In the bill's current provisions, Internet providers would be required to store customers' names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and temporarily-assigned IP addresses and log them, regardless of whether or not they are accused of any crime.

This collected information would be available to law enforcement for the purpose of tracking criminals and dealing with the threat they pose. Numerous civil liberty groups, including Demand Progress, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and ACLU, have spoken strongly against the bill, stating that it would only offer minor assistance against real criminals, and would just act as a monitoring agent against legitimate Internet users.

Further opposition to the bill includes the argument that criminals would go to libraries or other public places and use the Internet anonymously to conduct their activities, while burdening down all Internet users in the United States with the threat of blackmail, and privacy concerns.

In the House, Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California called the bill "a data bank of every digital act by every American...let us find out where every single American visited Web sites." Other Congresspersons have expressed a similar concern as was put forward in opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act, that the bill would hurt legitimate users, and do little to safeguard children.

The bill's author Lamar Smith offered the following statement in support of the bill. That not passing it "would keep our law enforcement officials in the dark ages".

Co-sponsors in the House:Edit

Changes for Internet ProvidersEdit

Currently, Internet providers seldom preserve log files that are no longer necessary for business reasons. If the bill became law, they would be required to keep all of them logged and available. A 1996 federal law in affect currently dictates that providers must keep government requested data logged for up to 90 days, which time limit would be no longer required.

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