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I didn't see anyone else covering this, so here goes.

Lamar Smith, one of SOPA's main sponsors, has another wonderful piece of legislation to try to ram through - this one potentially more damaging than both SOPA and PIPA for online security and privacy.

This legislation, the ironically-named Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011, would require that ISPs log - literally - every financial transaction you make online for 18 months. This includes credit card and debit card purchases, online checks, and financial services like Paypal.

The potential for abuse of this bill is obvious - it could be used for Blackmail, it could be used for even-more-invasive advertisements, and it raises serious questions about financial information security. You can read about this bill here and here, and if you follow me below the fold, I'll explain a bit about the problem of security this day and age.

I use the internet. Shocking, I know. However, what I know better than many is how rampant identity theft is. Electronic break-ins happen all the fucking time, and if Anonymous offlining government databases in retaliation for the Megaupload debacle wasn't a clear enough indication, not a fuck of a lot is going to stop determined hackers and thieves. PSN was hacked and had MILLIONS of bits of customer information stolen; so was Gawker. Even services like Paypal and Microsoft routinely have digital break-ins - my own Xbox LIVE account was hacked by a Chinese Hacker who proceeded to use my own customer information to buy about 6000 Microsoft points (about $75) for himself. Chase suffered an electronic break-in, too - as have dozens of other financial institutions.

The TL;DR (that's Too Long; Didn't Read, for all you who don't speak internet) is that no agency can properly secure information from determined hackers, and this attempt to form a database is directly intended to further undermine user privacy. Not only does it undermine security by making the government databases a prime target for anyone who wants to cause economic damage (which they will), but it also actively serves to help damage privacy online - since it would necessitate setting up our Internet surprisingly similar to how things are in North Korea and China.

SOPA and PIPA may be silenced as a threat for the moment - but our war is far from over. We need to keep fighting to ensure that not only are SOPA and PIPA permanently shelved, never to darken the halls of congress again, but that any attempts to ram its successor bills through, like the PCIPA 2011, are shot down as the pieces of anti-American horse-shit that they are.

And now, dear tubernets, I open up the floor. Peace.
 

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