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FC: Michigan moves to make anonymous ISPs illegal
From: Declan McCullagh <declan () well com>
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2001 11:10:16 -0500

[Thanks to James Tyre for the second article. --Declan]



Would Pedophile Law Go Too Far?
by Julia Scheeres

2:00 a.m. Feb. 10, 2001 PST

Proposed legislation in Michigan designed to help prosecute pedophiles would rip the anonymity out of free Internet service providers nationwide. That would have a deleterious effect on free speech, privacy advocates say.

The Michigan Internet Minimal Identifiers Act, drafted by the Wayne County Sheriff's Department, would require all free ISPs operating in Michigan to identify their subscribers by verifying customers' phone numbers or credit card information. The department says it needs the information to prosecute pedophiles.




Mike Wendland: Proposed law [in Michigan]
would erase free Web users'

Cops say criminals go incognito on the Net

February 8, 2001

Child pornographers are hiding
behind untraceable free Internet
e-mail accounts, frustrating law
enforcement agents and prompting
new legislation that would require
free Internet service providers to
collect more information about

BlueLight.com (www.bluelight.com),
the 6-million subscriber service run
by Kmart Corp., has already changed its policies in
response to a request from Wayne County Sheriff
Robert Ficano's Internet crime task force.

Most of the free providers, however, are ignoring
requests to do more to identify their subscribers. And
online privacy-rights groups are soundly criticizing
such requests.

"BlueLight recognized the problem and has acted
responsibly," Ficano said Wednesday. "Unfortunately,
we're not having as much success with other
providers. These free services can be a haven for
child pornographers."

State Rep. Bob Brown, D-Dearborn Heights, is
proposing legislation to mandate that free services
operating in Michigan collect more reliable and
identifiable user data.



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