Proposed law requires internet providers to retain records

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Proposed law requires internet providers to retain records

Culver City (CA) – Republican Lamar Smith of Texas has proposed a law that would mandate internet providers to keep the subscriber information. The “Internet Stopping Adults Facilitating the Exploitation of Today’s Youth Act” or SAFETY Act for short would require ISPs and email providers to record the names and addresses of all subscribers. It also requires providers to maintain records to help in sex offender investigations. 

Apparently the bill would put the onus of child pornography reporting on the content provider. SAFETY would amend the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 and force ISPs to report any act of child pornography. Providers that don’t report will be hit with up to $150,000 in fines on the first offense and up to $300,000 on the second and later offense. ISPs and email providers would also be hit with fines and up to 10 years in prison if they knowingly facilitate the transfer of child pornography. 

The SAFETY Act would also force adult-oriented websites to place “clearly identifiable marks or notices” in the HTML code. Failure to place these warning markers could result in up to five years in prison. While the warning code may initially sound like a good idea, many adult websites already have such code in both visible and hidden form.

Smith’s SAFETY bill now goes to a committee for initial debate and a vote. You can read the full text of the bill here.