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Article posted Feb 05 2012, 1:31 PM Category: Big Brother/Orwellian Source: CNET News Print

Anti-SOPA forces have ISP snooping bill in their crosshairs

by Declan McCullagh

It took an Internet-wide outcry from millions of voters to prompt Rep. Lamar Smith, author of the Stop Online Piracy Act, to postpone a vote on the controversial Hollywood-backed bill.

Now Smith, a conservative Texas Republican, is being targeted a second time: for championing legislation that would require Internet service providers to keep track of their customers, in case police want to review those logs in the future. His bill is called H.R. 1981.

The latest campaign is designed to build on last month's remarkable protests, which included Wikipedia going dark for a day and Google and posting anti-SOPA warnings on their home pages. Irate voters overwhelmed the U.S. Senate's Web site and, importantly, demonstrated to politicians that Internet users could be a potent political force.

"This is yet another government assault on the Internet and its users," said Demand Progress Executive Director David Segal. "We taught Congress a lesson last month: we need to do to H.R. 1981 what we did to SOPA, and make it clear to Lamar Smith and the rest of Congress that they can't run roughshod over Internet freedom."

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