SOPA 2.0? Progressive Group Targets Data Retention Bill


Author: Josh Smith
Coverage Type: reporting
Location:
House Judiciary Committee, Independence Avenue and South Capitol Street Rayburn House Office Building -- 2141, Washington, DC, United States

The controversial advocacy group Demand Progress can't get enough of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX). After working to torpedo his Stop Online Piracy Act, Demand Progress is taking aim at another of Smith's bills. The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act (HR 1981), which cleared Smith's House Judiciary Committee 19-10 last year after a hotly contested markup, would require Internet service providers to keep some user information on file to help track pedophiles and child pornographers.

The bill's supporters say it does not require the collection of content and most ISPs already retain the data. Still, the measure drew attention from critics who see a potential to undermine privacy and civil liberties. House aides say the bill is effectively dead for now, but that hasn't stopped opponents from reigniting the debate after SOPA and its Senate companion bill were shelved. The issue also resurfaced on the link-sharing website Reddit, where users organized opposition to SOPA. Demand Progress, which claims a following of more than one million, is asking supporters to send letters to Congress opposing the bill.

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