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Cornyn Wants Wi-Fi Spys – S.436 and H.R.1076

February 21, 2009

wifi_on_the_squareBill proposes ISPs, Wi-Fi keep logs for police

  • Politicians are calling for a federal law to save Internet users’ records for police use
  • Law would apply to all Internet providers and operators of millions of Wi-Fi spots
  • It would require providers to keep records for two years to aid police investigations
  • Republican-led bill is certain to draw fire from businesses and privacy advocates

Republican politicians on Thursday called for a sweeping new federal law that would require all Internet providers and operators of millions of Wi-Fi access points, even hotels, local coffee shops, and home users, to keep records about users for two years to aid police investigations.

“While the Internet has generated many positive changes in the way we communicate and do business, its Immigration Congresslimitless nature offers anonymity that has opened the door to criminals looking to harm innocent children,” U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said.

“Keeping our children safe requires cooperation on the local, state, federal, and family level.”

Joining Cornyn was Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the senior Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who said such a measure would let “law enforcement stay ahead of the criminals.”

Two bills have been introduced so far–S.436 in the Senate and H.R.1076 in the House. Each of the companion bills is titled “Internet Stopping Adults Facilitating the Exploitation of Today’s Youth Act,” or Internet Safety Act.

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.”

This demonstrates the prevailing view from the right side of our political spectum.  When big-brother-posteryou are in a position to oppress your opponent, you will do everything to pull the rug out from under their base.  Republicans used to be fiscal conservative watchdogs, and social elites.  As long as their social position was secure, they quietly left everyone else to their own devices.  Now you are a threat to their inflated opinions of themselves if you managed to escape your social barrier.  You are considered suspect if you have ideas and opinions out of line with their security blanket.  You criticise their methods, you become their enemy.  Now that progressives are right wing’s vision of ‘domestic terrorists’, they want to know everything you do and say.  So!  They want to spy on your internet activity.  Like they have just realized that their version of ‘freedom’ must be reinforced by ‘authorized access’ to your thoughts.  They have been doing this for years under the cloak of  Bush/Cheney totalitarianism. Now they want it official!  John Cornyn is a powerful influence for the extreme right, seeking to oppress American Freedoms and Rights as they apply to his opponents.  But, he will scream bloody murder if you dare tread on HIS rights.

Why should we be concerned about China spying on Americans when our own government is already on the job?

The Constitution of this country has a provision to protect Americans from this sordid behavior.  Its called THE BILL OF RIGHTS, Sixth Amendment:

Article the sixth [Amendment IV]
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Your “papers and effects” are now your digital thoughts, and they “shall not be violated

I don’t care what kind of spooky villians these Republicans think we are, but, shredding America’s Bill of Rights is not an option.  Granted, there are extremists pulling both the Right and the Left of our political spectrum.  That is what used to make America.hold a steady centrist course.  When one of these extremes become to powerful, America is pulled off course.  That is why America is having to take such drastic measures today.  America has been pulled to the brink of oblivion by a too powerful Right Wing who sees terrorism around every corner instead of where terrorism really is.

America’s course correction will take a powerful tug from the Left Wing to find the center again.  The tricky part will be to stop that correction before it pulls too far.  History has seen the consequences of both extremes.  History tries to show those, who study it objectively, that “all things in moderation” is the safest course.  History is very tricky, because it is written from an agenda promoting the winner’s attitude.  Objective history is a challenge to find, but it is there if you try.

No, we cannot endorse this last desperate pull from the extreme right.  The edge of the cliff is too close.  America’s economy has been devastated by extremists already.  Americans are no longer the “suckers born every day”.  Becoming wise to extreme tactics, masquerading as “homeland security” or “patriot acts” should give Americans a more powerful say in the determination of their own future.

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12 Comments
  1. February 23, 2009 9:22 pm

    John, thats another scary thought. China, Hong Kong, is sending travel clubs into America to buy up prime foreclosures, as we speak. China already owns a huge chunk of our economy as it stands, now it wants to own physical property. They will soon have enough muscle to impose their brand of population control.

  2. February 23, 2009 9:15 pm

    Joe, I did what you said. Very Scary. But, I don’t think this movement has a big enough base to cause more than irritation. As far as conspiracies go,
    I prefer wearing a tin foil hat to protect myself from those pesky RF waves and electromagnetic intrusions into my thoughts. If I can’t control my own mind, why would I want anyone else doing that.

  3. February 23, 2009 9:06 pm

    Agreed Wil, as long as governments can come up with scary stories to make their citizens compliant to their shady schemes, governments can shred civil liberties. People today behave more like sheep than humans. Independent thought is the enemy. Government will suppress opposition by calling them dissenters, domestic terrorists or anarchists. We witness this everywhere. Too many countries throw religion into the mix to add supernatural fear into their sheep. Progress marches backwards.

  4. February 23, 2009 8:40 pm

    When people are afraid, they are willing to cede authority to a government…whether they’re afraid of terrorists, economic collapse, etc. – it doesn’t matter. Living in fear simply produces those people in society that are willing to take advantage of it for their own benefit.

  5. Joe Cannuck permalink
    February 23, 2009 10:24 am

    This is a bad idea. No matter how bad it gets, people can’t let the government slip into a police state, and this is very close already. I also read that due to the global financial crisis, there was suggestion that a new WORLD body be formed to regulate credit and money. Watch now if they don’t use this “recession” that they created themselves to push the Amero currency on North America. Oh, haven’t heard of it yet? Just google “amero” you’ll see. Dig a little deeper, you’ll be disturbed.

  6. John permalink
    February 22, 2009 11:24 am

    Well written and totally true! The comical thing is, that this is the same badly thought-out technogarbage we always get from Congress. With half or more of the private wifi’s out there not secured, as the owners have not a clue how to do even that, now they think those same people are going to know how to log all of these users that they are not even aware of!

    We had a similar piece of garbage legislation attempted in the past by then Sen. Exon of Nebraska (my own state – sorry to say) that was supposed to eliminate porn on the internet. Wow… we could have total censorship just like the Chinese!

    This is not a police state yet, but it sure is looking like the right-wing in particular is trying to use distraction to evolve one.

  7. February 22, 2009 8:11 am

    Unfortunately you are right Adam. My issue is that the US Constitution is specific about banning intrusion into the private lives of Americans.

  8. Adam permalink
    February 22, 2009 3:36 am

    The terrible thing here is that this is NOT merely a republican issue. The EU passed very similar requirements recently and democrats have pushed for a similar bill. The real problem is the fact that it is easy for any politician to capitalize on the public’s fear of child predators. This is about winning votes and it is about fear mongering, plain and simple.

  9. February 21, 2009 10:48 pm

    Thanks Frank, you see the same point. If John Cornyn and his buddies are so intent on living in a police state, they need to consider Zimbabwe. That country is ready for another dictator.
    Why do we talk about our founding fathers all the time, when we can’t even remember what they founded. Ask anyone what our founding fathers founded. The answers are quite embarrassing.

  10. FRANK HULBERT Jr permalink
    February 21, 2009 7:20 pm

    I wondered how on earth the government got away with saying and doing something like this to the people they are meant to serve and then a quote by Thomas Jefferson flooded my mind: “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

    The Constitution of this country has a provision to protect Americans from this sordid behavior. Its called THE BILL OF RIGHTS, Sixth Amendment:

    Article the sixth [Amendment IV]
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Your “papers and effects” are now your digital thoughts, and they “shall not be violated“

    Conclusion: The United States is Broke! We The People” are no longer Free. We face poverty and hardships and Martial Law, this will create a “We vs Them” mentality. This will surely only create more crisis to come. The problem is only the non free market Communist and Socialist nonsense that has been going on, huge federal govt. huge standing army, billions going up in smoke of needless imperialist get my buddies power, money and prestiege, etc.

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  1. Lubbock Left » Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up 2/23/2009
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