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House Bill Won't Criminalize Free Wi-Fi Operators

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the what-were-they-thinking dept.

Government 540

Velcroman98 sends word of a bill that passed the US House of Representatives by a lopsided vote of 409 to 2. It would require everyone who runs an open Wi-Fi connection to report illegal images, including "obscene" cartoons and drawings, or be fined up to $300,000. The Securing Adolescents From Exploitation-Online (SAFE) Act was rushed through the House without any hearings or committee votes, and the version that passed on a voice vote reportedly differs substantially from the last publicly available version. CNET reports that sentiment in favor of such a bill is strong in the Senate as well. Update: 12/07 06:22 GMT by Z : As clarified in an Ars writeup, this summary is a bit off-base. The bill doesn't require WiFi owners to police anything, merely 'stiffening the penalties' for those who make no effort to report obvious child pornography.

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Sad, but predictable (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596385)

Before the House vote, which was a lopsided 409 to 2, Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Texas) held a press conference on Capitol Hill with John Walsh, the host of America's Most Wanted

Wow, the all-too-common convergence of a political media whore and a television media whore. Between the election year and the Writer's Guild strike, these two must be as happy as pigs in shit right now. I can almost hear them screaming "Won't someone please think of the children?!?!" from here.

Yet another fine example of the kind of far-reaching, ridiculously broad pieces of legislation that we get thanks to election year pandering. Normally, I wouldn't worry too much about this sort of legislation, as the courts usually strip it down pretty quickly. But with the courts so packed with hardcore conservatives right now, we can no longer count on that.

Re:Sad, but predictable (2, Insightful)

Kranfer (620510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596429)

While the courts might rip it apart, we also have to wait for someone to challenge it... Since judges are not supposed to legislate from the bench, remember. But as far as election year pandering, I hate it myself too. Hillary Clinton is running around screaming "Look at me! Look what I did!" Yet being a New York State resident, I still cry foul that she does nothing for NY... she assumes we will vote for her ::coughs::not::coughs::. The only pandering for the presidental election I look forward to is cheap Gas like in 2006 for the senate/house races.

Re:Sad, but predictable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596959)

we also have to wait for someone to challenge it...
that is f*ed up. why make a law & then challenge it instead of remove unconstitutional parts from the bill before it is made into a law? let the house & the senate vote on it & then ask the SCOTUS to remove unconstitutional parts before the law goes into effect.

Re:Sad, but predictable (2, Interesting)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596963)

I'm no longer a New York State resident, but Hillary Clinton has done more for New York in the few years she's had than most New York senators do in a lifetime. She can name the top issues for every county in the state and what she's done to try to address them. You can make a lot of arguments against her (I personally want her to stay out of my and my family's videogame-buying experience), but asserting that she hasn't done anything for New York is so untrue as to completely discredit you from and valid political opinion in my mind. My family in New York are all Republicans, but they all voted for her because of her ability to get things done for New Yorkers.

Re:Sad, but predictable (1)

Marc Desrochers (606563) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596445)

Breathing, releases deadly carbon dioxide gas into the air. It should be banned immediately before a poor defenseless child gets hurt.

Won't somebody please think of the children!

Re:Sad, but predictable (5, Funny)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596461)

Fucking Republicans! ...oh, wait. Never mind...

Re:Sad, but predictable (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596573)

Sadly, "Won't someone please think of the children?!?!" pandering is one of the few things that can still bring Democrats and Republicans together. You're just as likely to have Hillary Clinton railing against "videogames turning our kids into killing machines" as Rush Limbaugh.

Re:Sad, but predictable (5, Insightful)

neimon (713907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596599)

Hillary is a right-wing "Democrat."

Nevertheless, this isn't about party. It's about ignorance. You can't enforce this. You can't even define what's illegal content. It can only be used to harass people some district attorney doesn't like. Period.

Re:Sad, but predictable (3, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596979)

What part of the Bill is unenforceable? It only states that if you run a free-wifi service and realize that one of your "patrons" is engaged in child pornography that you must report it. This to me is simply common sense. Nothing in the bill talked about offensive cartoons. Nothing referred to anime. The Bill states child porn which has already been defined by the U.S. Supreme court as NOT being animated.

I realize a lot of the reaction from Slashdot has been based on the article. However, the article bears little resemblance to the actual Bill: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c110:2:./temp/~c110gRla7T [loc.gov] ::

Ironically... (5, Interesting)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596677)

Two Republicans were the two "No" votes. Ron Paul was one (which warms my little black heart; how cute! A politician that doesn't pander with 'teh children'. He's doomed, but hopefully not before I can cast a ballot for him in my state's primary) and someone I'd never heard of--Paul Broun (R)- GA.

When this gets to the Senate, hilarity will undoubtedly ensue as the candidates trip over each other to save the children from the pixels that everyone knows make the Baby Jesus cry. I can hope that maybe one or two will rise above (Obama, I'm looking at you), but I'm not holding my breath.

Orwell was Right (0, Flamebait)

memojuez (910304) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596627)

We're just a few laws away from having a Police State controlling every aspect of our lives.

It's unconstitional (1)

Whammy666 (589169) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596673)

This violates the 1st amendment. It places the Wifi operators in an uncomfortable position of being morality police while at the same time intimidates users with the threat of prosecution for posting "objectionable" content. This is another bill that ultimately does more harm than good and is unlikely to achieve any significant impact on child pron.

What a nation of paranoid nannies we're becoming.

Re:It's unconstitional (2, Informative)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596955)

Wifi operators are not common carriers. They are legally responsible for what travels across their network.

If someone uses your connection to view kiddie porn, the police will go after you. No change there... the defense of 'someone else was using my computer' has been used too often and they don't believe it any more.

If you are insane enough to open your wifi then for gods sake setup a decent firewall and a proxy so you can log who's been viewing what, otherwise you could find yourself at the wrong end of the law. There is no change there, either.. this law changes nothing.

ABORTION == EUGENICS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596773)

"Those least fit to carry on the race are increasing most rapidly ... Funds that should be used to raise the standard of our civilization are diverted to maintenance of those who should never have been born."

Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood

In the US, the overwhelming majority of "those least fit to carry on the race" seem to be poor minorities, yet the term "abortion" is always couched in terms of personal freedom instead of in terms of controlling the population of minorities. Funny - if a congressman came out and said that x number of poor black women should be forced to abort their babies he would be crucified by the Justice Brothers Sharpton and Jackson (and he should be). But instead we just encourage these women to make that choice on their own and call it a "right."

Re:Sad, but predictable (4, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596859)

From the actual Bill:

" (a) Duty To Report-

                        `(1) IN GENERAL- Whoever, while engaged in providing an electronic communication service or a remote computing service to the public through a facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce, obtains actual knowledge of any facts or circumstances described in paragraph (2) shall, as soon as reasonably possible--

                                    `(A) complete and maintain with current information a registration with the CyberTipline of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, or any successor to the CyberTipline operated by such center, by providing the mailing address, telephone number, facsimile number, electronic mail address of, and individual point of contact for, such electronic communication service provider or remote computing service provider; and

                                    `(B) make a report of such facts or circumstances to the CyberTipline, or any successor to the CyberTipline operated by such center.

                        `(2) FACTS OR CIRCUMSTANCES- The facts or circumstances described in this paragraph are any facts or circumstances that appear to indicate a violation of--

                                    `(A) section 2251, 2251A, 2252, 2252A, 2252B, or 2260 that involves child pornography; or

                                    `(B) section 1466A."

Basically, if you are operating a Wi-Fi service, and find out that one of your users is downloading or uploading child porn, you are responsible for reporting it. What part of that is controversial?

Wouldn't be easier... (2, Insightful)

Kranfer (620510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596393)

Wouldn't it be easier to mandate to the companies that make the wifi access points to mandate customer education on locking their routers down with WEP of WPA or something along the lines of tin foil around their house? However, $300,000 fine for an unknowing user having wireless and someone doing something criminal on it is just way too much. However, I can see Best buy taking advantage of it. New Geek Squad Commercial.... "Hire our Agents to encrypt your 802.11g, or lose your home!"

Re:Wouldn't be easier... (2, Insightful)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596471)

The argument is always put that people who sponge free wifi should be prosecuted, under the analogy that leaving your front door open, doesn't mean people are entitled to steal from you.

Now, right or wrong, we can see that this is a double edged sword.

If you leave your front door open, and hookers and on-the-run criminals move in, then you'll probably go to jail for running a brothel or harboring a fugative (etc).

Can't have it every way.

Re:Wouldn't be easier... (4, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596529)

If you RTFA, it's not just WiFi providers the bill applies to, but to ISPs, social-networking sites, e-mail providers and more:

That broad definition would cover individuals, coffee shops, libraries, hotels, and even some government agencies that provide Wi-Fi. It also sweeps in social-networking sites, domain name registrars, Internet service providers, and e-mail service providers such as Hotmail and Gmail, and it may require that the complete contents of the user's account be retained for subsequent police inspection.
I just hope this gets stripped down by the courts. I mean, hello?! Isn't policing the job of, oh, I dunno...law enforcement officials, and not ISPs? This is like passing a law requiring the electric company to turn you in should they discover marijuana growing in your backyard when they check the meter!

I think we should do what we did with the CDA. Everyone with a website should turn their pages to black the day this law gets passed.

Re:Wouldn't be easier... (4, Informative)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#21597041)

And if you RTFB, you will see:

(1) IN GENERAL- Whoever, while engaged in providing an electronic communication service or a remote computing service to the public through a facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce, obtains actual knowledge of any facts or circumstances described in paragraph (2) shall, as soon as reasonably possible--

So, it does not require any actual monitoring. If monitoring does occur and you find a user d/ling child porn, you must report. If you think that we should shut down the internet for a day to protest this, you are nuts.

Re:Wouldn't be easier... (4, Insightful)

ajs (35943) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596675)

However, $300,000 fine for an unknowing user having wireless and someone doing something criminal on it is just way too much.
No... you don't get it. The unknowing user whose home wifi got hijacked (or who mistakenly downloaded the wrong thing) goes to jail for a very long time and is systematically raped and tortured by the inmates for being a "child molester" only to have to register as a sex offender for the rest of their lives when/if they get out, because of existing laws. It's the companies that can afford to mount a more coherent legal defense that this law will attack, and that's why the Slashdot blurb speaks about the economic impact on small, free WiFi operators. Oh, and it also makes community WiFi impractical, which just happens to benefit the phone companies who can afford to mount massive wiretapping operations to find and remove users with questionable content.

This law is a fundamentally awful idea in every way, but it stands atop many, existing fundamentally awful laws.

Re:Wouldn't be easier... (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596919)

Nope. The Bill itself applies to people who knowingly provide services, and have discovered their users engaged in child pornography AND do not report it. But here at Slashdot we prefer to have knee jerk reaction based on a poorly understood article summary based on a misrepresented article. There is absolutely, positively nothing wrong with the Bill.

Figures (3, Insightful)

kpainter (901021) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596409)

the version that passed on a voice vote reportedly differs substantially from the last publicly available version

It seems that this is the way congress works in general these days.

Stupid (5, Informative)

DeeQ (1194763) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596413)

It seems stupid to me to hold them responsible for what goes over their networks. However Ron Paul voted no!

Re:Stupid (1)

bonkeydcow (1186443) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596801)

Site your source. This was a voice vote.

Re:Stupid (1)

crymeph0 (682581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596865)

RTFA

Crap like this (3, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596417)

makes me wish I hadn't had children, so that common sense and basic liberty wouldn't be taken hostage in their names.

But then rationality returns to me and I wish that the parents of those tards in Congress hadn't had children.

Sorry, that was unnecessarily harsh and unfair to the mentally retarded, comparing them to Congress.

Re:Crap like this (1)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596495)

"But then rationality returns to me and I wish that the parents of those tards in Congress hadn't had children"

I tend to agree, but keep in mind there is no shortage of morons to replace them.

yet another decision by the "moral majority" (1)

servo335 (853111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596441)

Where is George Carlin when you need him. On a more serious note inst it nice that laws governing I.T. are made by those with the least amount of understanding of how it works.

Re:yet another decision by the "moral majority" (2, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596691)

"least amount of understanding of how it works."
Pot. Kettle. Black.

50 comments based on one writer's spin on a Bill. I'd like to see the actual Bill text to see what the law really says. My guess is when we see what is really in the Bill it will have very little to do with the article summary.

What legal principle is that?? (1)

Iowan41 (1139959) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596447)

Attractive nuisance? If so, that is a remarkably draconian use of it, and not consistently applied, such as to library and school computers. But how many presidential candidates this time have not already promised to perjure themselves when they take their constitutional oaths, if elected?

Re:What legal principle is that?? (1)

defile39 (592628) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596531)

No. Attractive nuisance would be a common law cause of action. This is a proposed law. They can say whatever they want as long as it falls within congress' constitutional power, and doesn't violate the constitution.

Re:What legal principle is that?? (1)

Pode (892717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596725)

Please, please go ahead and try to find in the Constitution the Congressional power that justifies this. I like watching mental gymnastics.

Re:What legal principle is that?? (1)

defile39 (592628) | more than 6 years ago | (#21597027)

Easy. Article I, Section 8. It's called the commerce clause. That's how congress regulates . . . well . . . pretty much anything. If it affects commerce (and has a perceivable effect on interstate commerce), it most likely can be regulated.

Bombs won't do it (4, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596449)

America will *legislate* itself into the Stone Age.

Re:Bombs won't do it (3, Funny)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596585)

America will *legislate* itself into the Stone Age.



No, terrorists could use rocks as weapons.

Re:Bombs won't do it (1)

yamamushi (903955) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596669)

America will *legislate* itself into the Stone Age.
Maybe not that far back... I was thinking 1984 or so.

I felt a great disturbance in the force (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596465)

It would require everyone who runs an open Wi-fi connection to report illegal images, including "obscene" cartoons and drawings, or be fined up to $300,000.

As if millions of /b/tards suddently cried out in terror, then were suddenly silenced...

Stupid, moronic, fearmongering, etc. (4, Insightful)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596469)

Regardless of the sheer idiocy of this bill, is it even remotely enforceable? Around here, probably 35% of wireless networks are open. (This is in Canada, but I can't imagine the US would be much different.) I'd guess from my wardriving excursions that more than half of households in my city have wireless access points. So if you're making a law that automatically criminalizes 20% of your population, isn't there something wrong?
I realize the answer to that question is "Yes," and that's how the US government works. Make laws to make most people criminals, then when we throw them in the slammer, we can show the sheep^W people how tough we are on crime in election years.
But really...are you going to have cops driving around residential areas stopping at every other house handing out tickets for $300,000 fines?

Seriously, your country is fscked up.

Re:Stupid, moronic, fearmongering, etc. (0, Troll)

c0ck_l0rge (1121281) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596965)

Sadly, we know it's fcuked up too. If I could get Canadian citizenship, I would in a heartbeat. Know any ladies looking for an ex-patriot husband? I don't like being a citizen of the current "USA".

Re:Stupid, moronic, fearmongering, etc. (1)

bahbar (982972) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596985)

So if you're making a law that automatically criminalizes 20% of your population, isn't there something wrong?
Ever heard of the DMCA ?

This is going to be interesting . . . (1, Insightful)

defile39 (592628) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596475)

Yes, we all should secure our wi-fi connections. Sadly, I must keep mine open so that I can use it with my work computer (gotta love the IT policies at my employer!!). So if this law were passed, I'd be exposed to substantial liability when my neighbors use it to download porn. Great. Is the government going to subsidize the lead I'm going to have to install in my walls? Maybe I should just melt down my kids' toys and coat my walls and windows in the melted mess.
I'm convinced congress has zero insight into technology. I, frankly, think this is a great place for lobbyists to step in and give these guys a clue.

Re:This is going to be interesting . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596537)

Unless I'm missing something, Wi-Fi routers allow for MAC address filtering. You could at least lock it down THAT far. Granted it's far from fool-proof but it's a step.

Re:This is going to be interesting . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596777)

> Unless I'm missing something, Wi-Fi routers allow for MAC address filtering. You could at least lock it down THAT far. Granted it's far from fool-proof but it's a step.

MAC address filtering != Lock down in any way, shape, or form!

kismet + macchanger FTW.

Re:This is going to be interesting . . . (1)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596713)

So if this law were passed, I'd be exposed to substantial liability when my neighbors use it to download porn.
Oh, I don't know about that.

From TFA:
"This is what the SAFE Act requires: Anyone providing an "electronic communication service" or "remote computing service" to the public who learns about the transmission or storage of information about certain illegal activities or an illegal image must etc. etc. etc."

Easy solution: don't learn about the activities going on over the connection. This may be a case where ignorance is indeed bliss.

Re:This is going to be interesting . . . (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 6 years ago | (#21597011)

The thing about knowing what is crossing your AP, is unless your running an IDS/IPS or some other hardware based (ie on the AP), you will never know. Most AP's these days have only very basic logging, nothing special.

Now I will admit, I did not read this particular article, although I did read a few elsewhere, and no where in the bill does it state that joe consumer has to run monitoring hardware/software on his network equipment.... and maybe I should not be giving them any ideas...

On the bright side.. being a network security eng.. this bill provides me more business oppertunities :)

Side note, it appears Verizon has been locking down all of the AP's they provide (atleast with FIOS) with basic WEP. The downside side, its using WEP, which is next to useless. Another down side is that for most people, things like WPA and such are too complicated to setup, and then still get their portable devices to connect.

Re:This is going to be interesting . . . (1)

DriveDog (822962) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596719)

What makes you think the lobbyists didn't want this? Not the lobbyists for McD's or Starbucks but the ones for fat providers of broadband, who don't want any sharing?

Disclaimer... Of course my comments don't represent anything about my employer.

Re:This is going to be interesting . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21597125)

1. Pass stupid law
2. Wait for people to offer $$$ to change it
3. ??????????
4. Profit!

How many times has an open wifi point saved you? (1)

zsouthboy (1136757) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596489)

Because more than once, I've been somewhere - customer's house, friend who lives like the amish's house, etc. and had to get a windows update, or some silly file I left elsewhere - and someone (knowingly or not) having an open access point nearby made it possible.

It's Over... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596525)

4chan is finished.

So if I left my keys in the car (4, Interesting)

Timberwolf0122 (872207) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596533)

And someone stole my car and used it in a crime I would be (under that logic) liable for that crime too?

Running an unsecured WiFi is not a smart idea but we can't punish people for being stupid otherwise many of my friends would spend there lives in jail.

Re:So if I left my keys in the car (1)

Pode (892717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596779)

Stole your car, no, but if they borrowed it and committed a vehicle-related crime in the state of Maryland, you already are liable for that crime unless you choose to rat out your friend.

Sounds good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596539)

It's got a cutsey acronym. How can this possibly be bad?

Re:Sounds good (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596613)

That's why there should be a "loser names" rule for all legislation -- a bill is passed by the majority and given its official name by the minority who voted against it. I'm pretty sure that Rep. Paul could come up with a better acronym.

The 2 (1)

IAR80 (598046) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596543)

I wonder who were the 2 that voted against! :)

Re:The 2 (2, Informative)

Pode (892717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596681)

Ron Paul, and one other Republican. Yet again, Ron shows that he's one of the only people in government that doesn't deserve to be spat upon.

Re:The 2 (1)

bhmit1 (2270) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596695)

I wonder who were the 2 that voted against! :)
FTA:

Not one Democrat opposed the SAFE Act. Two Republicans did: Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning presidential candidate from Texas, and Rep. Paul Broun from Georgia.

It's human nature (2, Insightful)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596545)

It's human nature to fear and try to destroy what you don't understand.

I think we all remember "It's a series of tubes" and these are the people deciding how the future generations will use it because they wanted to "protect" them? Protecting children is what parents are for. When we where kids we played in the streets with rusty metal and no one cared. Now child services would be called on our parents.

Huh (3, Interesting)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596547)

the Democratic leadership rushed the SAFE Act to the floor under a procedure that's supposed to be reserved for noncontroversial legislation.

Is it any wonder that their approval rating is in the tank? All this talk of transparency in government, and they pull oddball stunts like this.

Nothing to see here (2, Insightful)

tomandlu (977230) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596551)

Reading the article, it doesn't look like it has much in the way of teeth with respect to Wi-Fi. There is no indication that you are required to monitor the wi-fi connection for such material, or, that in the absence of any such monitoring, that you would be responsible.

WTH Hentai? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596555)

From TFA:

But it also includes photographs of fully clothed minors in overly "lascivious" poses, and certain obscene visual depictions including a "drawing, cartoon, sculpture, or painting." (Yes, that covers the subset of anime called hentai).

Since when did *hentai* ever harm children?

Oh, please think of the E-children, please!!

Oblig. Ron Paul (5, Informative)

JeepFanatic (993244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596557)

Not one Democrat opposed the SAFE Act. Two Republicans did: Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning presidential candidate from Texas, and Rep. Paul Broun from Georgia.
I knew when I saw the two votes against that one would be Ron Paul.

Re:Oblig. Ron Paul (4, Insightful)

richarddshank (842901) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596971)

It has become quite obvious that he is the only presidential candidate that is interested in our individual rights. It was disgusting to watch the CNN/YouTube debate which just turned into a pissing contest between the "top" 4 candidates, while the other candidates just stood by and watched. If you don't know about Paul, watch this interview at Google. Its a little long, but you'll get an idea of who the man really is. http://youtube.com/watch?v=yCM_wQy4YVg [youtube.com]

But, my samba share.... (1)

Celarnor (835542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596567)

I have a Samba share visible on my network (although it doesn't broadcast, and you have to know to add //sambaslut/ to get to it). I enjoy using my ipod touch, which, unfortunately, doesn't support secure networks AFAIK. All kidding aside, my samba share contains mostly hentai and furry porn.

Why the hell is it /my fault/ if someone connects to my network, adds my samba share, and downloads my porn? Isn't it kind of, you know, their fault for downloading it?

Re:But, my samba share.... (1)

CJ145 (1110297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21597065)

The iPod touch does support secure networks. WEP and WPA(2) are both supported. You can even use safai after to login to a hotspot. Sent from my iPod touch over WPA.

Read The Bill.. (4, Informative)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596579)

OK, I don't claim this is a good bill. However, it only refers to people who "learns about the transmission or storage of information about certain illegal activities or an illegal image". Therefore free Wi-Fi operators are fine. Never look at what people are doing on your Wi-Fi, and you are fine. This could almost be good in some ways, as ISPs who sniff traffic could end up with much more work, while those who leave well alone will be fine.

Re:Read The Bill.. (1)

Jehosephat2k (562701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596645)

However, it only refers to people who "learns about the transmission or storage of information about certain illegal activities or an illegal image".

It depends on what you mean by "learns about". Someone calls up the WIFI operator and says OMG hax0rz are spreading filfth on the LANzz!! Is that "learning about"?

Vague laws like this are designed to be abused by those in power. And so it goes...

The Actual Bill (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596583)

Sorry, but I do not trust cnet news blurbs. Can someone post the text of the Bill itself?

Re:The Actual Bill (2, Informative)

Dublius (1143663) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596731)

Re:The Actual Bill (3, Informative)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596815)

Thanks. The first thing I notice:

"while engaged in providing an electronic communication service or a remote computing service to the public through a facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce, obtains actual knowledge of any facts or circumstances described in paragraph (2) shall, as soon as reasonably possible--"

This indicates to me that 1) You are intending to provide a service, and that you obtain knowledge. You are not required to monitor your users' behavior.

So, sounds like a really ineffective law. Hardly Orwellian.

This comes as no surprise (4, Insightful)

Jehosephat2k (562701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596589)

The purpose of this law is to provide more legal means for government and corporations to monitor everyone's internet traffic.

Remember, whenever these people say "it's for the children", there is a more insidious motive behind it.

If they just said that they were going to require monitoring everyone's Internet traffic, there would be an uproar. But, if it is to find kiddie porn, well, then hell yeah, 409-2! Same effect. One really has to wonder what percentage of traffic will actually have these offending files. This will require serious scrutiny to find anything. Game, set, match.

They didn't think this one through... (4, Insightful)

StickyWidget (741415) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596615)

the SAFE Act's additional requirement of retaining all the suspect's personal files if the illegal images are "commingled or interspersed" with other data.

So, let me get this straight. If a pedophile starts up an open Wi-Fi access point, then he connects to it with a laptop that can't be traced to him, he can monitor the traffic, and save all the images that go across the wire. Then he tosses the laptop, reports it, and then he has a perfectly legal excuse as to why he's holding kiddie porn on his computer.

I. Call. Bull. Shit.

~Sticky
/First, all the politicians.
//Then, the lawyers.
///Then, the pedophiles.

the common wisdom here (4, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596621)

will be the stupidity of the "think of the children" motivation for any laws, and how fundamentally flawed that concept is. and i agree

however, the same slashdot crowd will kvetch about computer noobs running wifi without any security, not even weak wep. i can look for wifi near my apartment and list about 5 such open connections, as could a lot of slashdotters anywhere in the country, or the world. and i myself have used such open connections to suck down pirate media (and you know that the next logical extension of "think of the children" is "think of the starving music executive"), as have some slashdotters here i bet

so the security-minded slashdot crowd will say you need wpa at least and encrypt everything that goes over the air anyways (and limit access by mac addresses, and block unnecessary ports, etc.)

ok, fine. well an insane law like this is the only thing that will get us such a world. i'm sorry, but that's the truth

what i'm saying is, noobs can not be motivated to be careful, unless the penalties are severe. in fact, the penalties are fundamentally unjust and insane must be to force such motivation on noobs to stop being careless and lazy and uneducate don the issue. i bet a lot of them even know all about the issue, but are just too lazy to configure their set up

so take your pick slashdot:

1. insane law, sane security practices
2. sane legislators, insane security lapses

you can't have both in this world with today's wifi technology

i'm not saying this dichotomy is correct, i am just saying it is reality

Re:the common wisdom here (2, Insightful)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596811)

Except you misunderstand the law passed in extreme. IF YOU SPY ON YOUR USERS you are liable, otherwise no. So if you open up your wireless this bill in effect criminalizes spying on the traffic.

Which, to me, seems very reasonable, and perhaps even positive.

You already *are* guilty if you neglect to report crimes you know about (no not copyright infringement, which is exempt from this).

Re:the common wisdom here (2, Insightful)

imgod2u (812837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21597067)

Please get it through your head. There is a *HUGE* difference between wanting people to secure their WiFi and wanting THE GOVERNMENT to pass A LAW requiring it. It boggles the mind how people are unable to grasp such a vital distinction.

I think men should not be allowed to wear spandex. Let's make a law about it!

I so want to move there! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596649)

"Land of the free, home of the brave", was it?

LOL! "Illegal Images"???? (4, Insightful)

presarioD (771260) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596651)

WTF??? There is such a thing as an "illegal image"???? I must have missed the memo... next thing you know, there will be "illegal sounds" and "illegal ideas"! LOL! This planet is getting more and more fucked up by the day and nobody seems to notice...in fact watch the answers to this post, people will be quick to point out how this is perfectly normal...for example (drum rolling, music peaks) a child being molested is an "illegal image"!!! You see now, bozo?

Go ahead and explain now the difference between an "act" and the "image of an act"... oh dear time for a coffee break...

Re:LOL! "Illegal Images"???? (1)

jas_public (1049030) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596759)

That would probably be goatse, for one.

Re:LOL! "Illegal Images"???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596805)

"...next thing you know, there will be "illegal sounds" and "illegal ideas"!"

Umm...there always have been? What about Communism under the Mcarthy era? And the British courts have just found someone guilty of writing a poem praising terrorism...

Re:LOL! "Illegal Images"???? (1)

tommyhj (944468) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596853)

yeah, I just have to reply to that...

Law isn't universal constants, and law is not ethics either. You can define anything you like as illegal. And yes, there can be an illegal sound, and there most certainly is illegal thoughts and ideas (if you audibly express a thought or idea to bomb a buildning...).

So yes, there are indeed illegal images. Some images are even illegal, even if the act they depict is not. Cartoons depict non-real acts that can't be described as legal or illegal (as they didn't happen), yet these images themselves can be illegal (anime).

Re:LOL! "Illegal Images"???? (1)

imgod2u (812837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21597127)

I think the point wasn't whether our rent-a-Congress will legislate it to be "illegal" but whether the fundamental principles of civil rights and human freedoms allow for such a legislation.

The token argument that allows such laws have nothing to do with whether or not the existence of the pictures are legally flawed but rather that the access to said things (or open access such that a minor can get to it) is illegal. Even with that argument, I still disagree. However, the sheep mentality of the average person makes it difficult to argue for their personal liberties when someone holds the pedophile carrot on a stick in front of them.

You don't want to know. (1)

Aram Fingal (576822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596659)

If I'm reading this correctly, this law only becomes an issue if you know about traffic in illegal images on your Wi Fi network. The practical upshot of this is that if you want to run an open Wi Fi point, you need to be sure you don't look at the traffic. Don't run a packet sniffer or a NIDS.

Their own wireless... (1)

Viewsonic (584922) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596665)

I am going to bet the majority of the people voting on this bill have an open wireless network and don't even know it.

But I somehow doubt they'll be the ones paying the $300,000 fines.

Wii Wireless... (1)

daninspokane (1198749) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596703)

So, does this mean no more browsing naughty sites on my wireless connection for my Wii?

Nobody likes child pornogrpahy (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596705)

Nobody like chilkd pornography, but child pornograpy and "terrorism" are used to limit free speech. Nobody likes censorship.

The really bad guys will hide in encryption and other privacy protection technology. In 2 years this law will be abused to use this law against common criminals like downloading music( sarcasm?). It is the letter of the law that counts.

But they did think correct about including forbidding computer generated images. There were reports that very lifelike stuff was created, where the boundaries between real and animated where approached.

Re:Nobody likes child pornogrpahy (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596891)

At that point though aren't you pretty much making it a thought crime? Real kids get hurt in kiddy porn. Some wac job spending all day making life like images from his imagination and sending it out to his sic friends is nasty but does not injure anybody. Maybe it's just me I do not like laws that make crimes without any obvious victims.

Maybe when we get some real leaders in politics we might get sensible laws but that requires people not be sheep because the sheep vote for whoever they think will stop the scary banging in the night from happening not do whats least bad for the most number of there current constituents / the citizens in general.

If any of you are, or know, John Galt... (1)

bmajik (96670) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596745)

please see that he gets my name.

_somewhere_ there has to be a society for responsible, sane people.

New Rally Cry: (1)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596751)

Think of the Adolescents!

-Grey [silverclipboard.com]

"Bill MIGHT NOT Criminalize Free WiFi Operators" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596753)


Why not use this version of the headline? It means exactly the same thing as the original, after all.

Is a picture a picture without a CODEC? (4, Interesting)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596757)

Ferinstance: Somone sends a Windows DRMed video over my Linux AP and I don't have a CODEC for it so I cannot view it since it is just a jumble of bits. Is that stream of bits a picture?

So, the net effect... (1)

Greatmoose (896405) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596821)

So, the net effect of this will be to put small businesses out of business. How can the coffee shop down the street comply with this? The time and storage capacity needed for this is ridiculous.

Just had a horrible thought: Once you store it (in a harddrive so big it doesnt exist yet), aren't you now in possession of it? This is the catch22 of the exercise, you have to somehow sift through thousands of files LOOKING for "illegal" stuff and report it, or YOU can be charged. This will NEVER fly with the supreme court. Once this hits the mainstream news people are going to freak out and get pissed.

I hope.

Re:So, the net effect... (1)

tommyhj (944468) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596947)

Well, as I understand it, the bill states that "if you LEARN of"... That implies that you are not required to be looking for the material, or indeed monitor the connection.

On the other hand - if you ARE actively monitoring the connection for child-porn, and you happen to find some, you are required to archive the images. That means that I can now set up a WIFI, and monitor everyone using it for child-porn, keep the images for myself and report it to the authorites, granting me immunity :-)

This law is actually a GOOD thing for pedophiles, granting immunity to the one who reports the other...

Time to celebrate... (3, Funny)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596827)

Sounds like it's time to celebrate Obscene Images Over Open Wireless Networks Day!

A link to goatse and the best wardriving software on the web... stat!

With a name like that, (3, Insightful)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596833)

it's sure to pass!

How could you vote against something called the "SAFE Act"?

That would be like voting against something called the "USA PATRIOT Act"!

Home wireless networks? (2, Interesting)

ConfrontationalGrayh (1199233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596845)

I wonder if this applies to home networks that are wide open. How would a home user be expected to monitor traffic at that level? Another point (perhaps more valid) is this. Will companies with open wireless networks now simply lock them down so that they're no longer open, to avoid having to deal with this?

sounds like (1)

darth_linux (778182) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596857)

someone is using the same "wipe them out. all of them." approach to free wifi as those who appose illegal use of P2P technologies. maybe free wifi providers should have some kind of filtering or whatever, but i dont think federal government is the one to push such law. especially not at the risk of destroying the provider. i mean, what reason will i have to _stay_ at my coffee shop if i cant get a few minutes of peaceful surfing with a nice cup of joe.

I have an idea, report them... (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596899)

While it's a completely stupid idea and will leave liable every non-technical dolt who sets up an open router, perhaps those of us with technical capability could do our part by reporting these images. Since the definition of obscenity varies by community standards, and I would hate to miss something that just has to be reported, the safest thing might just to be to report all images as they pass through your system to a wifi connected computer. Dedicate an old system to capturing all images as they pass to the wifi point, and e-mail every one of them individually to the people we are supposed to report them to. And I would CC a copy of each e-mail to those 409 congressmen who are so concerned about them also. We have to do this, or the terrorists have won.

I Guess (1)

synonymous (707504) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596939)

If my phone gets stolen or lost that I am responsible for all the bomb threats made from it and other. Someone hacks into my wireless and has Cartman fucking his underage girlfriend emailed from it and I go to jail.

This will be a pile of shit here. Will not work.

The SAFE Act is a PATRIOT Correction (0, Offtopic)

jeblucas (560748) | more than 6 years ago | (#21597083)

...hence the lopsided vote. EFF has the insights no the rest of this bill [eff.org] . This is a "poison pill" amendment to the Ron Paul's of the world, but it's a small price to pay for passing the rest of this legislation.

Age (5, Insightful)

Emperor Tiberius (673354) | more than 6 years ago | (#21597087)

Did you know that the average age of the representatives is 55? I often wonder if age's impact on someone's familiarity with technology plays a role in some of these voting sessions.
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