The FBI wants a record of where you’ve been online

The FBI wants to follow you on the internet. Specifically, “they just want to know who you are, where you’ve been and what you did while you were there.” Right now they specifically want the origin and destination of all activity on your computer, but those requirements are still subject to change as the final version of the law draws near.

This data retention act will fall under the old reliable excuse of searching for and “investigating child pornography”. And while they are searching for those bastard child pornographers, anything else they come across that’s illegal or any assorted “other serious crimes” will be fair game! Convenient, even if it is a touch unconstitutional!

This is the great change? This is how you treat the citizens of the United States? Where’s the outrage? Where’s the great mass of people to cry out over this injustice? The only think I can think of is that everyone is afraid that if you voice opposition to this act, you might be misconstrued as defending child pornography.

Well let me populate the FBI’s watch list right now by saying FBI chief Robert Mueller is a jackass for wanting this policy enacted. Do I have the attention of all the keyword tagging programs now? Good.

Watching the citizens of the United States’ private activities when they are under no suspicion of any crimes whatsoever is wrong. It is a clear violation of the fourth amendment of the constitution concerning unreasonable search and seizure. This is not a supposition on my part. This is the actual writing of the fourth amendment… “No Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” All law enforcement search and arrests should be limited in scope according to specific information supplied to the issuing court, usually by a law enforcement officer, who has sworn by it.

Searching for “other” crimes when you can not even prove there are any “other” crimes being committed at all is illegal for the government to enact and sanction. It is the difference in a police officer witnessing a secondary crime or directly witnessing illegal activity while serving a judicially issued and legally sanctioned search warrant, and a police officer breaking into a locked home with the intention to look for “other serious crimes” because there’s a child pornographer living somewhere in the city.

You’re not looking just for one specific target to prosecute if you’re going to actively go after “other serious crimes”. You’re not looking just for one specific criminal activity if you’re going to consciously use the all encompassing “other crimes” label in an attempt to validate your activities.

Acts and laws that are the effective equivalent of bottom trawling is an active step toward the persecution of thoughtcrimes. Just because an individual visits a website does not mean they endorse or support the views of the website’s author or endorse or support the content posted by other individuals who are also visiting that website. So why gather the origin and destination activities of individuals unless it is to gather the identities of those individuals who are examining views and opinions contrary to existing laws, popular opinion and the current majority’s political desires?

Child pornography is pure evil. But this act, well intentioned or not, must not stand.

What can be done? For starters, I’m going to write my senator and my representative. Pen and paper tends to get the best results. Then I’m going to donate to the EFF, login to their forums, and see what can be done from there.

We now return you to the inoffensive personal blog already in progress…

Here’s a link to the article on CNET.

Here’s another link to the article on CONSUMERIST