This Thursday Republicans proved they can be “fail at the internets” just like the Democrats. They introduced two bills which would require anyone operating a Wi-Fi router to retain a two year access log. This legislature would allow a subpoena to recover a two year log of users. Known as the “Internet Safety Act” the two bills S.436 and H.R.1076 are titled “Internet Stopping Adults Facilitating the Exploitation of Today’s Youth Act” in true GOP fashion. No senator or representative would want to be up for re-election after voting no on stopping the “exploitation of youth”.
If passed into law this sort of irresponsible legislature can only create a strain on our economic system and push back research and development. Manufacturers producing routers for the home and small business sector will have to release new models. These new models will comply with the law instead of offering new features that users want to see. The owners of the existing models will have to upgrade. A simple firmware update will not work as most low end router models would have insufficient memory to store two years of access logs. Here is the output from my Linksys RVS4000 “Business Series Security Router” (~$160):
total used free shared buffers
Mem: 62372 47832 14540 0 312
Swap: 0 0 0
Total: 62372 47832 14540
This act would hold liable users whom in many cases posses very little Internet Technology knowledge and skill. How does someone explain to the average internet user why they must go out and buy a new router when theirs works fine? What if the operator is 65 years old and using Wi-Fi for the first time? What happens if they misconfigure their router and have to factory reset it? Routers don’t use hard drives and the access log data would be lost.
Who sincerely believes a Linksys router can consistently do anything over two years except crash? This is a ridiculous bill which I’m confident will get tossed out in it’s current form.
Source: CNET News