Lamar Smith is insane
Apparently this Republican congressman has sent forth from his dark lair in
Mordor Texas a bill proposing that all ISPs in the US be forced to log traffic from all internet users (including full text of all e-mails, IM conversations, etc) indefinitely. Not only would such a law be laughably illegal and unethical, but it’s logistically impossible.
For example, this would require Comcast to keep copies of all my Microsoft internal e-mails, since I access them from home. Of course, Comcast couldn’t possibly do this since my corporate e-mail is encrypted until it reaches my computer.
Perhaps we should also force gas stations to submit records to the government of everywhere I drive, including wrong turns I make and precisely how long I sit in traffic on the 520 bridge. Nevermind the fact that gas stations don’t have access to that information, and that obtaining it would be a gross violation of my right to privacy. Nevermind the fact that it would be impossible for them to track every customer 24 hours a day and store all of that data in a secure fashion indefinitely.
Oh better yet, he’s proposing in the same bill that ISPs be fined $150,000 for “permitting” a subscriber to perpetrate certain illegal activities using their service. I say the gas stations should be held accountable the same way. They do provide the fuel that permits me to drive around US roads, right? If I do something bad, shouldn’t they be held responsible for permitting me to use their fuel to perform nefarious acts?