First, the proposed law itself, the so-called “SAFETY Act” (for Stopping Adults Facilitating the Exploitation of Today’s Youth Act), H.R. 837, February 6, 2007.
SEC. 6. RECORD RETENTION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS.
(a) Regulations- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this section, the Attorney General shall issue regulations governing the retention of records by Internet Service Providers. Such regulations shall, at a minimum, require retention of records, such as the name and address of the subscriber or registered user to whom an Internet Protocol address, user identification or telephone number was assigned, in order to permit compliance with court orders that may require production of such information.
As described here, this proposed law is:
A bill introduced to the US House of Representatives [that] would require ISPs to record all users’ surfing activity, IM conversations and email traffic indefinitely.
The bill, dubbed the Safety Act by sponsor Lamar Smith, a republican congressman from Texas, would impose fines and a prison term of one year on ISPs which failed to keep full records.
In addition to sweeping up and permanently recording all of the conversations and letters of terrorists and kiddie-porn purveyors, this would sweep up everything by everyone else as well — without a warrant, without probable cause, without recourse, without exception, and without reason.
As the folks at Ars Technica point out, there’s no reason to think that law enforcement and private companies will limit themselves to looking for terrorists and pedophiles. The music industry (for example) is also very interested in exactly who goes where and says what to whom on the Internet.
Please, drop over by The Seminal and read their entire post. They’ve got suggestions for what action individuals can take next.