Home > News > House Judiciary Committee Passes Internet Snooping Bill • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options


House Judiciary Committee Passes Internet Snooping Bill

House Judiciary Committee Passes Internet Snooping Bill
Get XBIZ News
XBIZ Research
Will virtual reality boost the paysite market?
Yes, it will soon
Yes, but in a few years
Out of 179 votes. Results based on votes submitted by members of XBIZ.net social network.
Jul 29, 2011 9:00 AM PDT    Text size: 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Judiciary Committee has approved a measure that would force ISPs to save users’ IP address information for one year to aid in the fight against child porn.

The bill, HR 1981 — The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 – was approved on a 19-10 vote and considered a victory for conservative Republicans despite opposition from digital rights groups and civil liberties advocates.

An 11th hour rewrite of the controversial data retention mandate reportedly expands the information that commercial ISPs are required to store to include customers' names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and temporarily-assigned IP addresses.

The panel rejected an amendment that would have clarified that only IP addresses must be stored.

Critics complain that the bill’s data retention requirements threaten consumer privacy and increases the risk of data breach.

Prior to the vote, Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, who led Democratic opposition to the legislation said the bill is a “stalking horse for a massive expansion of federal power.”

She said it represents "a data bank of every digital act by every American" that would "let us find out where every single American visited websites."

Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the senior Democrat on the panel said the bill is mislabeled.

"This is not protecting children from Internet pornography. It's creating a database for everybody in this country for a lot of other purposes."

Earlier this month, The Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP) penned a letter to the U.S. Congress that was widely circulated on Capitol Hill, protesting its erroneous use of the phrase “Internet Pornographers” in the new legislation.

ASACP executive director Tim Henning told XBIZ that lumping in adult businesses in the bill's labeling is flat out wrong. "'Protecting Children From Internet Pedophiles’ or ‘Protecting Children From Internet Sex Crimes’ would both be more appropriate and accurate titles for this Act," the ASACP letter stated.

Henning also said that although his organization supports global law enforcement efforts to protect children, there are a number of legal and technological paths including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) already in place and that mandating a new requirement for ISPs to collect and retain IP addresses is overboard and problematic from privacy, security and economic standpoints.

But supporters, like Texas Republican Representative Lamar Smith, chairman of the committee, claim it's an aid to law enforcement. He said in a statement after the vote that ISPs routinely purge records, sometimes just days after they are created. “Investigators need the assistance of ISPs to identify users and distributors of online child pornography.

“This bill ensures that the online footprints of predators are not erased,” Smith said.

Civil liberties advocate Greg Nojeim, senior counsel for the Washington-based Center for Democracy and Technology told CNET, “This is China-style law enforcement, treating everyone as a potential suspect and requiring the collection of personal information just in case it might later be useful to the government.”

For a short time it appeared as though the bill would be derailed because of opposition from a handful of conservative members of Congress and Democrats advocating civil liberties and privacy.

And the original version of the bill, introduced in May, required ISPs to keep records for 18 months unless they were transmitted by “radio communication” prompted by the lobbying efforts of wireless carriers. But it was slapped down by the Justice Department who felt it didn’t go far enough and was removed in a revised draft.

A similar Senate version of the new measure — S. 1308 — was introduced in the Senate on June 30 by Utah Republican Orrin Hatch and co- sponsored by Republican Senators Charles Grassley of Iowa and Jeff Sessions of Alabama, and Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

Michael Powell, president of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, which represents ISPs including Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) said in a statement that the House Judiciary vote is an “important step” in the effort to fight child porn.

He said his organization will work with lawmakers to seek “further clarification that will produce reasonable retention practices that can aid law enforcement in stopping crimes against children.”

The existing "Protect Our Children Act of 2008" requires any ISP who "obtains actual knowledge" of possible child porn transmissions to "make a report of such facts or circumstances."

ISPs that knowingly fail to comply can be hit with fines of up to $150,000 for the first offense and up to $300,000 for each subsequent offense.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !


Data Privacy Is Tightening Up in the E.U.

Have you begun preparing for GDPR? If you are like most, you haven’t even heard of GDPR, but also if you are like most, it is going to affect your business, starting May 25, 2018. The GDPR, or General... More »

Preventing Legal Problems Before They Start

Dentists typically recommend that a person’s teeth be cleaned every six months and that oral X-rays be taken at least once every year. Internists recommend that a person receive a physical examination... More »

Could Adult Content Be Banned?

Earlier this month, I met with the Free Speech Coalition’s board of directors for our annual review. Despite the headwinds our industry faces, politically and economically, we are, as an organization,... More »
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.

Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ Premiere magazine, the industry's leading adult retail trade publications, delivering the most timely and comprehensive business news and information to producers and retailers of adult products.


XBIZ Retreat

May 30 - Jun 03
Miami, Florida

XBIZ Miami 2017

May 30 - Jun 02
Miami, Florida

XShow 18+ 2017

Jun 01 - Jun 03
Moscow, Russia

Cam Summit

Jun 02 - Jun 04
Lloret de Mar, Spain
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!