Tag Archives: ACLU

Flawed Bill to Protect Children from Child Pornography Passes From Judiciary Committee: Objections & Solutions

On July 28, the House Judiciary Committee today passed a bill to help investigators track down dangerous pedophiles and protect children from sexual exploitation. The bill passed by a vote of 19-10. The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 (H.R. 1981) directs Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to retain subscriber information for 12 months in order to assist federal law enforcement in online child pornography and child exploitation investigations. This is similar to existing federal law that requires telephone companies to retain caller information for up to 18 months.

H.R. 1981 also makes it a federal crime to financially facilitate the sale, distribution and purchase of child pornography. The bill increases the maximum penalty for certain child pornography offenses. H.R. 1981 was sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.)

During a press conference, Chairman Smith commented,

“Child pornography may be the fastest growing crime in America, increasing an average of 150% per year. These disturbing images litter the Internet and pedophiles can purchase, view or exchange this material with virtual anonymity.

“This is partly because investigators do not have adequate tools to track down dangerous pedophiles that prey on the most innocent in our society. Investigators need the assistance of ISPs to identify users and distributers of online child pornography.

“When investigators develop leads that might result in saving a child or apprehending a pedophile, their efforts should not be frustrated because vital records were destroyed simply because there was no requirement to retain them. This bill requires ISPs to retain subscriber records, similar to records retained by telephone companies, to aid law enforcement officials in their fight against child sexual exploitation.

“Every piece of prematurely discarded information could be the footprint of a child predator. This bill ensures that the online footprints of predators are not erased.”

H.R. 1981 is supported by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the National Center for Victims of Crime, the National Sheriff’s Association, the Major County Sheriff’s Association, the International Union of Police Associations and the Fraternal Order of Police.

The ACLU and other organizations oppose section 4 of the bills because it will require Internet service providers to maintain records of all users and their communication for 12 months. This requirement is a threat to privacy of millions and an additional burden on Internet businesses.

One way around this problem would be for Internet companies in conjunction with government to develop software to identify, track, and store of those whose activities are suspect. This would allow authorities to investigate only suspected law-breaker while protecting the privacy of a majority of citizens using online services.

We all know, the government does this anyway. So why push an unlawful egalatarianism on the majority in the guise of protecting children? One reason could be legislatures have no common sense. Another might be they want to invade the privacy of whomsoever they want whenever they want.

Planned Parenthood Ignores Fetal Pain; Goes After Personhood Amendments

Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have filed an appeal to the State Supreme Court against Mississippi’s Personhood Amendment, Amendment 26, despite numerous rulings against them.

In July of 2010, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU filed suit to disallow Mississippi voters from voting on the Mississippi Personhood Amendment. In October, the lawsuit was rejected. The Court decision read “Initiative Measure No. 26 has received more than the required amount of signatures to be placed on the ballot and the Constitution recognizes the right of citizens to amend their Constitution.”

Now Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have appealed to the State Supreme Court, a decision made especially conspicuous by Planned Parenthood’s recent refusal to challenge various “Fetal Pain” bills. According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, one abortion in 2010 would have been prevented by the Fetal Pain bill. By contrast, Mississippi’s Personhood Amendment 26 would make all abortion illegal by recognizing the personhood rights, first and foremost the constitutional right to life of all children, born and preborn.

This is not the first time that the ACLU and Planned Parenthood have tried to stop Personhood USA – numerous lawsuits have been filed, albeit largely unsuccessfully, in an attempt to stop Personhood USA and its state affiliates.

“Of course we expect Planned Parenthood and the ACLU to continue their unholy alliance in attacking personhood bills and amendments,” explained Keith Mason, cofounder of Personhood USA. “They are terrified that abortion will be made illegal. Planned Parenthood, with the help of the ACLU, is fighting for their ‘right’ to kill children for profit.”

Personhood Amendment 26 states, “The term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.”

“Personhood Amendments and bills nationwide merely recognize that all human beings are people,” continued Mason. “Recognizing that all human beings have rights is a sentiment the ACLU should be fighting FOR, not against. Instead, the ACLU has teamed up with Planned Parenthood to ensure that Planned Parenthood’s deep pockets are protected. It is outrageous that the billion dollar abortion industry’s bottom line is more important to them than over one million innocent human lives taken every year by abortion.”

Personhood USA’s amendments and bills recognize that every human being is a person, and every person has a right to life. Personhood amendments and bills protect every child, no matter their size or age.

Visit the Personhood USA website to learn more about its mission and Petition to the Ohio Legislature.