It’s a very good day for Internet freedom – a controversial, anti-privacy data retention mandate is notably absent from the child protection bill recently introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith. SOPA-author Lamar Smith had previously introduced H.R. 1981, which would have mandated that ISPs collect and maintain data on Internet users not suspected of any crime. Under the bill, ISPs would be required to keep historical records on IP address assignments, which raised serious civil liberties concerns. We’re heartened to see these troubling provisions are not present in the replacement bill, Child Protection Act of 2012 (H.R. 6063).
EFF, ACLU, Demand Progress, and other civil liberties organizations worked together to articulate the grave civil liberties implications of this short-sighted legislation. More importantly, tens of thousands of Internet users contacted Congress to protest H.R. 1981. EFF extends our heartfelt thanks to the Internet community for their efforts to stop provisions that would have had dire consequences for online freedom.
We know the battle isn’t over – there are data retention mandates to be fought around the world, state level bills could crop up, and it’s quite possible Congress will try its hand at mandating data retention again in the future. EFF is committed to vigilance against any such proposals. And for right now, we’re very glad to celebrate this moment with people everywhere who believe our basics rights should not be compromised when we log on to the Internet.