The ‘Missile Command Act’? No, the ‘Internet Safety Act’!

A5200_Missile_CommandI think my career is about to resemble Missile Command.  It was all the rage in the 1980s.  Atari still exists and I was surprised to see that they’re still selling it.

The name of the game is to intercept falling missiles (which have an annoying tendency to split off in multiple directions) with silos on the ground (hint; we’re the silos).

John Cornyn (R) has introduced the “Internet Stopping Adults Facilitating the Exploitation of Today’s Youth Act”, or ‘Internet Safety Act’ (for those of us who can’t fit all that in a catchy blog title).  This bill is actually a regurgitation of a bill introduced in 2006.  I think you get the gist from the bill’s title, but here’s the fine print:

“A provider of an electronic communication service or remote computing service shall retain for a period of at least two years all records or other information pertaining to the identity of a user of a temporarily assigned network address the service assigns to that user.”

Anybody besides me thinking about the storage/costs required to retain and/or restore these logs?5_Day

That’s Part I of the headache.  Part II is who would be covered under this bill; essentially anyone who serves wireless using DHCP.  That’s right – it includes that little Wi-Fi router you have at home.  Note to those who brought their wireless router home from the store and
just plugged it in; you might want to configure the security feature, lest someone nearby connect through it and start looking at child
pornography.  Starting to sweat, yet?  Maybe you will after I mention Part III; you might go to jail for up to 10 years.

Here’s the really bad news – there’s a Part IV…

Once again, all I think about is Zubulake.  The moment you’re required to retain a record for two years, it may be adjudged ‘accessible’ for Zubulake purposes – and not just the ones covered under this Act, which, as I previously mentioned, specifically targets child pornography.  Any purpose of litigation may be fair game to subpoena these logs!

You think maybe Senator Cornyn knows how to push a bill through Congress by piggybacking it on the hot-button terms that frighten all parents to death?

This Act really could be the legal equivalent to ‘Missile Command’ (or starfish, or octopus…).  The tentacles could reach virtually anywhere.  I’ll be monitoring this closely, as should you.  If it becomes law, it could be…Missile Command - The End

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