Monday, November 06, 2006

The Proposal to Control Net Access

Senator Eduardo Azeredo (PSDB-MG) is the responsible for a bill that will end with Internet privacy and anonymity altogether. This bill, if passed into law, will require every ISP to store each connection performed by a user for at least 3 years.

If approved, it will be a crime, punishable with up to 4 years of jail time, to disseminate virus or trojans, unauthorizedly access data banks or networks and send e-mail, join chat, write a blog or download content anonymously. The bill states that every user must fully identify herself before using the Net, with full name, current address, phone number and the equivalent of the Social Security Number. To access the Net without providing this information, or to give false information, will also be a crime.

Senator Eduardo Azeredo wants to legally recommend every Internet user to buy the government approved certificate, and use it on every connection to the Net.

Now that's what you call a democracy.

The Senator can argue as much as he want on how this measure is going to stop cybercrime. But what does it look like to people that want to blog against the government? That's censorship by fear.

What about our right to privacy? I don't want my ISP spying on me and linking the data I access with my personal information. They already have this ability, but it's a much reduced one because they don't have all of my personal information. And some ISP's employees may be stalkers and murderers that now will have FULL INFORMATION on how to reach me.

Also it won't stop cybercrime. It'll just make it evolve. Most hardcore cybercriminals already employ different anonymization techniques.

There are some critics against this bill, mostly from ISPs and lawyers, that argue that it's going to put too much burden on the user, slow Internet adoption and ruin privacy for the regular user, while bringing only small benefit on the war against cybercrime.

Hopefully they will be able to lobby some sense into Senator Eduardo Azeredo. If this unfortunate bill gets the green light, please start learning how to surf anonymously using TOR or similar tool.

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