SAFE Act of 2007 (HR 876)

GovTrack.us provides some interesting details on H.R. 876: SAFE Act of 2007:

To modernize and expand the reporting requirements relating to child pornography, to expand cooperation in combating child pornography, and for other purposes.

Here are my thoughts, after reading the full text of the bill:

  1. I have to give the usual disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and can not give legal advice so these are just my opinions.
  2. This bill has only just been introduced. It has not even been to committee let alone a house vote yet, so it’s far from becoming law and subject to change.
  3. The bill uses language like “as soon as reasonably possible, make a report of such facts or circumstances to the CyberTipline”. In other words, this bill affects “electronic communication service provider or a remote computing service provider” who become aware of child pornography, which seems hardly different than existing laws that already deal with aiding and abetting. Here are the two primary differences I see from current laws:
  4. — Increased financial penalties for failure to report

    — Detailed data retention language — “An electronic communication service provider or a remote computing service provider shall store any image and other information relating to the facts or circumstances of any incident reported under subsection (a)(1) for not less than 180 days after the date that the report is transmitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children through the CyberTipline, or for such longer period of time as may be requested by a law enforcement agency.”

    I think it would be better to set the retention requirement to “not less than 180 days after the date that the incident is discovered” rather than start after a report is transmitted.

  5. The terms “electronic communication service provider or a remote computing service provider” are not defined. Would a home with free wifi count? Is a business like a hotel or hospital responsible, or would it fall on the shoulders of their upstream “provider”? What if there is a disclaimer on the wifi launch page? Not clear.

Make-Believe Maverick

Make-Believe Maverick : Rolling Stone

A closer look at the life and career of John McCain reveals a disturbing record of recklessness and dishonesty

Frightening.

In its broad strokes, McCain’s life story is oddly similar to that of the current occupant of the White House. John Sidney McCain III and George Walker Bush both represent the third generation of American dynasties. Both were born into positions of privilege against which they rebelled into mediocrity. Both developed an uncanny social intelligence that allowed them to skate by with a minimum of mental exertion. Both struggled with booze and loutish behavior. At each step, with the aid of their fathers’ powerful friends, both failed upward. And both shed their skins as Episcopalian members of the Washington elite to build political careers as self-styled, ranch-inhabiting Westerners who pray to Jesus in their wives’ evangelical churches.

In one vital respect, however, the comparison is deeply unfair to the current president: George W. Bush was a much better pilot.

What was the lesson from Nixon?

“I’m sure John McCain loves his country,” says Richard Clarke, the former counterterrorism czar under Bush. “But loving your country and lying to the American people are apparently not inconsistent in his view.”

Alaska Independence Party

Palin apparently was delighted this year to address the Alaska Independence Party, even after the founder of the party had said “the Fires of Hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred of the American Government”.

Bill Maher explains:

Salon News adds more fuel to the fire by pointing out that the new head of the party is rabidly anti-American and thinks Palin is not only a member, but that she exemplifies the founder’s ideals:

[Chairwoman] Clark was born in Illinois, moving with her family as a child to the Alaska territory in 1951. But, she says, “in my heart and mind, I’m an Alaskan. I don’t identify myself as an American.”

I guess you have to admit identity is a funny thing. Bush certainly hides his Connecticut/East-Coast pedigree well, but at least he doesn’t say he is Texan instead of American. Strange how many people think he is really from Texas, but imagine if they also thought that he was not from America.

The Alaskan Independence Party burst into the national spotlight when Clark released a statement reporting that Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, were both members. After the ensuing uproar, Clark issued an apology and correction, declaring that only Todd was an actual member of the AIP. […] Since then, other AIP members have offered conflicting information about Sarah Palin’s affiliation with the party. And earlier this year, as governor, Palin addressed the AIP convention, stating that she shared the party’s “vision.”

“Keep up the good work,” Palin told party members. “And God bless you.”

So Palin seems to agree with the AIP, and the AIP agrees with Palin. Salon quotes Clark’s reaction to Palin’s speech:

“As I was listening to her, I thought she sounds like what we’ve been saying for years. I thought to myself, ‘My God, she sounds just like Joe Vogler.'”

Vogler was the craggy, fire-breathing secessionist who founded the Alaskan independence movement in the early 1970s. Among the colorful Vogler quotes now in circulation are “I’m an Alaskan, not an American. I’ve got no use for America or her damned institutions.” Then there’s “The fires of hell are glaciers compared to my hate for the American government.” And “The problem with you John Birchers is that you are too damn liberal!”

The story gets even more strange as the AIP accuses the US of becoming a state that serves powerful corporate interests and is too far left.

By any other name that’s fascism. It certainly isn’t a democracy. Mussolini must have a grin as wide as the Yukon River, looking at what the United States has become.

I find it truly bizarre that the AIP condemns the US as a fascist state, and yet says things are too far left. That makes no sense at all. I also find it bizarre that Palin is said to sound like Vogler, a man who hated the UN but wanted to use it to align with Iran and even attack the US.