Republican calls for email and IM monitoring

Republican congressman Lamar Smith from Texas, introduced a bill, which he dubbed the Safety Act, to the US House of Representatives. If it goes through, the bill would require ISPs to record all users' surfing activity, IM conversations and email traffic and would impose fines and a prison term of one year on ISPs which failed to keep full records. As well, owners of sexually explicit websites would be forced to include warning labels on their web pages, or face jail. Finally, a 20-year "jail tariff" would be standard for anyone ordering child pornography that crosses state borders, with a $150,000 fine for the ISP that allowed the transaction to take place.

"A crime is still a crime, whether it occurs on the street or on the internet. In this age of increasing digital and technological sophistication, cyber-crimes and cyber-terrorism pose a serious threat to the US. Law enforcement and the private sector must be prepared to deal with these crimes," said Congressman Smith.

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