Do you think that our lawmakers are idiots? OK, you don’t have to answer that. There is only one answer to that question.
Do you think that they think we are idiots? Now, that’s a tricky question. But I think they do. I think they really believe that we are idiots. Why else would they come up with a bill called “Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011”.
Oh don’t get me wrong, the PCFIPA is a wonderful title and what it implies is not only honorable but its the right thing to do. Except that it does not do what it implies. All this bill does is that it allows Internet Service Providers and the Government keep a tab on all your browsing history. That’s right. The bill mandates that all ISPs should log and store the Internet usage data of its customers. This includes information like websites visited, data downloaded, items purchased and much more. Virtually any information flowing through the Internet highway that has your IP address needs to logged and stored for one year at ISP’s server. The official reason ? The supporters argue that law enforcement and the government can use this information to track down and prosecute child pornography. Hence the ridiculously idiotic title for the act.
Of course the real, or at least lucrative, reason is to allow corporations track Internet usage for media piracy and do even more evil things like targeted marketing and political censorship.
I am well aware of the conspiracy theory flavor that you smell from this post and if you are the type who insists on fact, head on to the Library Of Congress website and read the actual text of the bill yourself. The Internet community has already been flooded with angry and concerns netizens (network + citizens) and this has been brought to attention by many Tech websites. Of course, for me, anything that gets printed in Lifehacker is nothing less than the word of God.
This outrageous act needs to be stopped. It does not do what its supposed to do, it does what nobody wants to happen and in the end only big corporations will use it to sue and exhort money from civilians. Somebody, start an online petition to repeal this heinous act.
In the mean time, there are multiple ways to protect yourself from this government intrusion. You can use VPNs or any other traffic encryption/ identity masking services to protect your online identity and surf the vast Internet while remaining anonymous. In fact the Lifehacker article lists a bunch of techniques you can use to make sure no one is tracking your online activity. Use them and protect yourself.
You can thank me later.
Stay Strong. Stay Vigilant.
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I am on a blog-a-day-for-a-year crusade. Keep me motivated with your comments. Or tell me if you will join my call to revolt, if any.