Wednesday, February 07, 2007

McCain proposes an unfunded mandate for ISPs

Declan McCullagh at reports that Sen. John McCain is preparing to hold a press conference with John Walsh of America's Most Wanted and Miss America 2007 to announce a bill that will create a new mandate for Internet Service Providers to eavesdrop on all of their customers email and web traffic in search of child porn images. The act apparently requires ISPs to implement new technology to compare all images transmitted or received by their customers to a federal database of images (presumably via some one-way hash function, so that the database is not itself distributing child pornography), and to report any that are detected to John Walsh's National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that operates as a clearinghouse/proxy for federal and state law enforcement with Congressional mandate and federal funding.

The new bill is known as the Securing Adolescents From Exploitation Online or SAFE Act, and is not to be confused with the 2003 SAFE Act (Security and Freedom Ensured), the 1997 SAFE Act (Security and Freedom through Encryption), or the 1998 SAFE Act (Safety Advancement For Employees).

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