Ron Paul and Paul Broun were the only reps who voted NO on H.R. 3791 which is called Securing Adolescents From Exploitation-Online Act, or SAFE Act. The bill intends : "To modernize and expand the reporting requirements relating to child pornography, to expand cooperation in combating child pornography, and for other purposes." The idea seems to have support in the Senate too, thanks to John McNut.
Got to love that "and for other purposes" part.
- Final House vote - (Dec 5, 2007)
- c|net news story
- Slashdot discussion
- Reddit discussion
- Read / Write Web posting
- Dec 17, 2006 Toledo Talk posting about McCain's proposed bill called Stop the Online Exploitation of Our Children Act.
Excerpts from the Dec 5, 2007 c|net story :
That broad definition would cover individuals, coffee shops, libraries, hotels, and even some government agencies that provide Wi-Fi. It also sweeps in social-networking sites, domain name registrars, Internet service providers, and e-mail service providers such as Hotmail and Gmail, and it may require that the complete contents of the user's account be retained for subsequent police inspection.
Wednesday's vote caught Internet companies by surprise: the Democratic leadership rushed the SAFE Act to the floor under a procedure that's supposed to be reserved for noncontroversial legislation. It was introduced October 10, but has never received even one hearing or committee vote. In addition, the legislation approved this week has changed substantially since the earlier version and was not available for public review.
The definition of which images qualify as illegal is expansive. It includes obvious child pornography, meaning photographs and videos of children being molested. But it also includes photographs of fully clothed minors in overly "lascivious" poses, and certain obscene visual depictions including a "drawing, cartoon, sculpture, or painting."
There are two more points worth noting. First, the vote on the SAFE Act seems unusually rushed. It's not entirely clear that the House Democratic leadership really meant this legislation to slap new restrictions on hundreds of thousands of Americans and small businesses who offer public wireless connections. But they'll nevertheless have to abide by the new rules if senators go along with this idea (and it's been a popular one in the Senate).The second point is that Internet providers are required by another federal law to report child pornography sightings to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which is in turn charged with forwarding that report to the appropriate police agency. So there's hardly an emergency, which makes the Democrats' rush for a vote more inexplicable than usual.
Instead of using and enforcing existing laws, government intends to create a new law that is more expansive.