Friday, January 20, 2006

Invasion of Privacy

It seems that in the process of resurrecting an anti-pornography law, the Bush adminsitration has subpoenaed Google for "a broad range of material from its databases". This includes "1 million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period." If the government wants to see what's on the internet can't they just go look for themselves? Can't they go to Yahoo's Buzz page and see what the top searches are?

The law in question is the 1998 Child Online Protection Act which "would have required adults to use access codes or other ways of registering before they could see objectionable material online".

I don't quite see how this could possibly be enforced given that adult sites which didn't require any sort of registration could be based overseas and outside of US jurisdiction. Also to prove you're an adult what sort of information will be required? And who will run these registration sites? Who is that information going to go to? I sure don't want the government poking its nose into what I do on the internet, but nor do I want a private firm having access to my details or what I do either.
I don't even like allowing cookies onto my system if I can help it- can you imagine the flood of spam this initiative might cause? Not to mention the risks of identity theft. I also don't see why the Federal government should be getting involved in this in the first place- surely it's up to parents to regulate their children's activities? I for one will not be letting my children have free and unfettered access to the internet when they're old enough to use it.

And just who exactly is to say what is "objectionable"? That's a pretty broad term and a lot of sites which don't usually carry adult material may occasionally link to or have an image which may be "NSFW". Are these sites supposed to register all their users or just stop doing what they do?

The original Act, it must be pointed out, was signed into law by Clinton (before being struck down by the Supreme Court) so this is not an example of Bush's desire to create some sort of Christian theocracy. Just in case that's what you Moonbats out there were thinking. This is an example however of how the Evil Party and the Stupid Party can both get things wrong. You'd think that they'd have more pressing concerns on their hands right now anyway- the WOT, Social Security Reform, Energy Independence, reforming the education system. I think there are too many people in Washington with too much time on their hands.

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